Ramirez looking to stay in Japan


Alex Ramirez, whose time with the Yomiuri Giants is all but over as he aims to part ways with the Central League club, said Monday he is hoping to continue his baseball career in Japan.

The 37-year-old Ramirez, who has spent the last four years on the Giants roster, struggled to adjust to a new pitcher-friendly ball introduced to Japanese baseball and also had health issues that left him batting .279 with just 23 homers and 73 RBIs this season — his worst production since moving to Yomiuri from the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in 2008.

Ramirez, known for his crowd-pleasing personality, had sought more playing time with Tatsunori Hara’s Giants this year but was limited to 137 games.

The Venezuelan slugger said before taking off for the United States the same day that he is still confident he can bat .300, hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. Ramirez, who is considering returning to Japan near the end of the month, said he will be open to offers from all Japanese clubs.