Manny Ramirez joins White Sox
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The controversial and colorful slugger arrived at Progressive Field on Tuesday for his first day with the Chicago White Sox, who claimed the 12-time All-Star on waivers this week to help their AL playoff push.
It didn't take Ramirez long to raise eyebrows as he conducted an approximately 13-minute news conference in Spanish, despite the fact he's done interviews in English for years. White Sox bench coach Joey Cora was his interpreter
"Feels more comfortable with his language," Cora said. "Obviously he understands [the questions], but he wants to make sure."
Ramirez said he was thankful for this opportunity and was happy to be with the White Sox. He also said he feels like a 25-year-old and still has the fire to compete. In fact, the prospect of playing more as a designated hitter with the White Sox instead of being used sparingly as a defensively challenged outfielder in Los Angeles influenced him to waive his no-trade clause.
"He said whatever you need, whatever you want from me, I'm willing to do it," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I tell everybody who comes here, 'Don't think you're going to be the savior. You're here to help us win.'"
Ramirez walked into the ballpark at 3:15 p.m. ET, entering from the Indians players' parking lot, where he used to park during his eight seasons with the Indians.
His dreadlocked hair was at its usual length, but it could be shorter in the near future. The White Sox have an appearance policy, and they expect Ramirez to conform to it and get his dreadlocks trimmed. A barber was set up in a room adjacent to Cleveland's clubhouse.
"He's just worried about playing baseball," Cora said when Ramirez was asked about cutting his hair. "He's not worried about hair."
The designated hitter was available for pinch-hitting duties on Tuesday, and he's scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Ramirez, who played parts of the last three seasons in Los Angeles, thanked the Dodgers and praised their organization. But he didn't want to talk about his last at-bat on Sunday, when he was ejected after just one pitch for arguing a strike call.
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Chicago entered action Tuesday four games behind the Minnesota Twins.
"Hopefully, he can come in here and give us some help," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said Monday. "We need to make up some ground. There's no doubt Manny can hit. He makes any team better."
ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla and The Associated Press contributed information to this report.