Before heading to Los Angeles for his first Dodgers home opener Monday night, Manny Ramirez was quoted Sunday as saying he has thought about returning to Cleveland at some point in his career.
"I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started," Ramirez told USA Today while in Phoenix for the Dodgers' weekend series with the D-backs. "I have so many good memories there, why not?
"I think to go back where you started is everyone's dream."
Ramirez, who was drafted by the Indians in the first round (13th overall) in 1991 and played parts of eight seasons with them, told the newspaper he discussed such a return with White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome, who came up through the Cleveland organization around the same time.
Ramirez left Cleveland as a free agent and signed with the Red Sox after the 2000 season. Thome left and signed with the Phillies two years later.
Both could be eligible for free agency this winter if Ramirez were to opt out of his two-year deal with the Dodgers, the paper pointed out.
"Manny was very sincere when he brought that up to me," Thome said. "Manny was saying how special that would be for us to both go back together. He was very passionate. Baseball's such a weird thing. You never know what's going to happen."
"Me and Thome back in Cleveland?" Ramirez said. "That would be sweet.
"I love L.A. I really do. But the way the city responded to me, it reminded me a lot of how it was in Cleveland."
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.