In the early innings of a game between the Omaha Storm Chasers and Iowa Cubs on Monday night at Werner Park, Manny Ramirez hung his arms over Iowa's dugout railing, taking in all the action as a player/coach (more coach).
When photographer Minda Haas aimed her camera in his direction to get a candid shot, he caught her and hammed it up instead. Later, he offered her a S'mores Bar as a peace offering.
This is the kinder, gentler Ramirez baseball fans have been reading about for the past few years, making him the perfect fit for Cubs GM Theo Epstein as a mentor for prospects like Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Kris Bryant.
The 42-year-old knows he doesn't fit into Chicago's plans at the big league level, but he's embracing his role, even if he never gets another shot in the majors with another team.
But his signing makes sense for more than just him and the prospects he is already mentoring. Presumably, he will put more people in the stands in Des Moines, and it will give fans around the Pacific Coast League a chance to see him play in what could turn out to be his final season.