So how does Darren Bush plan to manage Manny Ramirez when the veteran slugger joins the River Cats this weekend in Albuquerque?
"Me?" Bush said, chuckling. "Just put his name in the lineup and go play. Same as everybody else."
Of course, in Ramirez, Bush will be penciling in a player with 19 major league seasons and 555 career home runs who's serving out a second 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The A's announced Wednesday that the enigmatic outfielder and designated hitter will play a 10-game tuneup with the River Cats starting Saturday before he becomes eligible to join Oakland on May 30, his 40th birthday.
Ramirez is scheduled to make his Raley Field debut next Friday. The River Cats already are offering ticket specials for Ramirez's home games, including a "Manny Pack" that comes with a Ramirez T-shirt.
If attendance numbers from his first minor league stint following a failed drug test coincidentally, with Albuquerque in 2009 are any indication, there will be plenty of interest in seeing Ramirez take aim for the "Home Run Terrace" on the clubhouse roof beyond the left-field fence at Raley Field.
Bush said Wednesday he doubts Ramirez will play in the field with the River Cats. He will bat in the top third of the order, Bush said.
Ramirez, who reportedly has been at extended spring training in Arizona since the A's broke camp, last played in the majors in April 2011. He appeared in five games with the Tampa Bay Rays before opting to retire from baseball rather than serve a 100-game suspension for testing positive a second time for a performance-enhancing drug.
That suspension was reduced to 50 games reportedly because Ramirez sat out nearly all of last season. The A's signed him to a minor league deal in February and presumably now are waiting to see whether he can bolster a lineup that has the major leagues' lowest team batting average (.215).
"I'm sure he can hit," Bush said. "Who am I kidding? I saw him in spring training. He can hit."
Outfielder Michael Taylor said he doesn't expect Ramirez to have trouble fitting into the River Cats' clubhouse and that Ramirez's presence could benefit a minor league team.
"He'll come here and obviously lend some experience to some of us who have been playing for a long time but still have much to learn," Taylor said. "Being a fun-loving, outgoing guy, he'll play just fine here. And everyone will kind of enjoy having him around. I look forward to it."
Ramirez's 555 home runs rank 14th all-time, and his 1,831 RBIs rank 18th. He is a lifetime .312 hitter.
Ramirez made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1993. At the time, River Cats catcher Derek Norris was 4 years old.
"He was one of my favorite hitters to watch (growing up)," Norris said. "(It was) his ability to hit everything. It didn't matter what the pitcher threw up there. He was hitting it somehow, some way."
In spring training this year, Norris said, his locker was next to Ramirez's. "Great guy from what I got from him," Norris said.
Taylor said that during the spring, he found Ramirez to be "on a bit of a mission to not only enjoy the game, but come back and continue to play at a high level."
As for what to expect from Ramirez the teammate when he arrives, center fielder Jermaine Mitchell said: "I just expect him to be him."
"I mean, Manny's going to be Manny, so I just wish the best for him," Mitchell said. "I hope he does well just like I wish all my teammates do well."