MESA, Ariz. (AP) On his first day at spring training with the Chicago Cubs, Manny Ramirez was looking forward to his new job as hitting consultant.
''I'm very blessed they have confidence in me,'' Ramirez said Wednesday.
Suspended by Major League Baseball in 2009 and 2011 for performance-enhancing drugs, Ramirez was hired last summer by Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein as a player-coach for Triple-A Iowa. Epstein was Ramirez's old boss in Boston.
Ramirez, 14th on the career list with 555 home runs, said he will tell young players ''the good and the bad'' of his career. He shared his experience with minor leaguers last year.
''You tell these young players, `You don't do this and you don't do that. This has consequences.' That's what I did,''' he said.
A 12-time All-Star who last appeared in the major leagues during the opening week of the 2011 season, the 42-year-old Ramirez played winter ball in the Dominican Republic for Aguilas Cibaenas and hit .409 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 147 at-bats.
''I'm just happy to be a part of that,'' Ramirez said. ''The sky is the limit. I will keep working hard in passing knowledge to them.''
While Ramirez is working for the Cubs, former Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa has not returned to coach.
''This is about this year's team, not about Sammy Sosa,'' owner Tom Ricketts said. ''I've always said Sammy was a great player. Regardless of anything else, he was a great player. At this point, there's nothing new to report.''