Official: Ramirez to play for team in DomRep

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- A Dominican baseball official says former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez intends to play for a team in his Caribbean homeland.

Winston Llenas is president of the Cibao Eagles, a winter league team in the northern Dominican Republic. He tells The Associated Press on Tuesday that Ramirez is expected to start training with the Eagles next week.

Llenas says the 39-year-old Ramirez wants to "play before the Dominican fans and to perhaps motivate other major league stars to also play in the country."

Ramirez abruptly retired this year amid allegations of banned substance use. The allegations would not impact his play in the Dominican Republic.

He also is facing criminal prosecution in Florida on charges that he slapped his wife during an argument.