Best Batting Cages - 2012
Extreme Baseball Indoor Hitting Cages
When strange and elusive slugger Manny Ramirez worked last winter toward a major-league comeback from a steroid-related suspension and an impulsive retirement, he kept it local. ESPN cameras caught him doing aqua aerobics with a pool full of Miami abuelitas and taking swings in a Hialeah batting cage. ManRam will soon be working his peculiar magic in Oakland, upon the completion of his suspension, as the newest member of the Athletics. But Manny isn't the only big-league patron of that Hialeah facility, Extreme Baseball Indoor Hitting Cages. Founded three years ago by former minor-leaguer Miguel Soto, it's the off-season swinging headquarters of St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, former Detroit Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordóñez, and a stable of big-time local prospects. They're trained by former pro players Frank Valdez and Kadir Villalona. But you don't need a pro contract to build your skills here. It's $2 to take hacks at 20 baseballs, and tutelage under the trainers costs $45 an hour. Next, we'll find out which swimming pool Manny was thrashing around in. Those grannies looked buff.