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Papi: Manny a different guy now

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ATLANTA -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is thrilled to hear that his friend and former teammate Manny Ramirez has landed a job with the Cubs.

Despite all the mistakes Ramirez made in the latter stages of his playing career, Ortiz believes that the right-handed-hitting slugger has earned a chance to get back into baseball.

Ramirez was hired to be a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa, where his main responsibility will be to help mentor prospects in the art of hitting.

Before taking the job, Ramirez was scheduled to return to Fenway Park for the 2004 reunion Wednesday night. Perhaps he still might attend, depending on when his responsibilities start for the Cubs.

"I heard about it today," said Ortiz. "To be honest with you guys, the Manny you're going to see at Fenway, hopefully he makes it there, but this is a different guy. He's been doing different things for the past couple of years."

Ortiz echoed comments that Pedro Martinez made to MLB.com last week, saying that Ramirez has completely changed his priorities in life.

"I've been talking to him a lot on the phone, and sometimes I get confused, because I don't know if I'm talking to him or not," said Ortiz. "He's legit, you know what I'm saying? I really like the fact that he's doing things better, because he should've been doing that for a long time, especially being the person he was. But we're human. Everyone's different. I'm glad he's looking out for his kids and family and trying to make things better."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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