A crazy month in the Pacific Coast League

Manny Ramirez in action for Round Rock in 2013 - Minda Haas

In a league known for home runs, the Pacific Coast League made headlines in May for other reasons.

It's been a crazy month in the Pacific Coast League (PCL).

Not that this story needs any more attention, but in a post like this I have to mention the fact that Albuquerque catcher Miguel Olivo bit off part of teammate Alex Guerrero's ear in a dugout altercation. As you know by now, the Dodgers suspended Olivo, and then released him.

Manny Ramirez is headed back to the PCL - this time as a player/coach with the Iowa Cubs. He had a brief stint with Round Rock last season and he played briefly for the Sacramento River Cats (who, incidentally, are considering switching their MLB affiliation from the A's to the Giants) in 2012. Theo Epstein says Ramirez's life is headed in a positive direction and he believes Ramirez has a role to play for the organization, but it won't be at the big league level.

"While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he's a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization," Epstein said. "Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference."

Omaha infielder Jimmy Paredes hit for the cycle, part of which earned him PCL Player of the Week honors for May 12-18. He has since been called up to Kansas City.

A squirrel interrupted an at-bat by Omaha infielder Johnny Giavotella's in Round Rock. Yes, you can watch it online.

The Las Vegas 51s became the fifth team in PCL history to hit four straight home runs in a game at Salt Lake recently. Allan Dykstra, Zach Lutz, Taylor Teagarden and Brandon Allen went deep in the fourth inning of that game.

Dating back to 1988, when the Colorado Springs Sky Sox started playing, they have hosted only three scoreless games heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. Two of them happened this month on successive Christian Bergman starts.

Speaking about the Sky Sox, someone has some explaining to do after Tom Lohr visited Security Service Field on his 11,000-mile journey across the country, where he intends to visit all 30 MLB stadiums and a number of MiLB stadiums in search of the perfect hot dog. Unfortunately, the hot dog he received in Colorado Springs was served on a stale bun. Want to follow his journey? He's blogging about it at ballparkdogs.blogspot.com [Hat tip: Mike Curto, Tacoma radio play-by-play announcer]

By the way, if you are a fan of the PCL, then you need to be reading Curto's blog: Booth, Justice and the American Pastime. It's a great combination of information about the Tacoma Rainiers, league news and baseball personality. Curto wrote a story recently about eight of the 16 teams in the league currently having their top-ranked prospect on the roster.

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