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  • MAJOR LEAGUES

    Padres pick Browns QB Manziel in 28th round of draft

  • NEW YORK — Just call him Johnny Baseball.
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  • NEW YORK — Just call him Johnny Baseball.
    Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday — the 837th player taken.
    Manziel was listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, although he never played for the Aggies as he focused on football. He hasn't played baseball since high school and probably won't see the diamond again as he embarks on his NFL career, but was happy the Padres took a swing at him.
    "Big thank you to the (at)Padres and (at)padresmikedee for selecting me in the MLB draft," Manziel wrote on his Twitter page. "What a great day!"
    Mike Dee, the Padres' president and CEO, tweeted back: "Best athlete on the board... (hash)JohnnyBaseball."
    Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012, was taken by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft last month.
    "It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said Saturday before the Padres hosted the Washington Nationals.
    In May 2013, Manziel visited the Padres when he was in San Diego to work with a quarterbacks coach.
    "He certainly loves baseball," Byrnes said. "We kind of talked about it at that time, 'Do you want us to draft you?' He said, 'Yeah, absolutely.'"
    Why in the 28th round?
    "We really liked our 27th-rounder," Byrnes said.
    Asked the odds of actually signing Manziel, Byrnes, a big football fan, just smiled.
    Manziel played baseball and football at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, and asked Texas A&M coaches about being part of the baseball team before winning the Aggies' starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman.
    Earlier this week, Manziel — decked out in an Indians jersey — was set to throw out the first pitch in Cleveland before the Indians played Boston. He warmed up earlier with Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin, but his toss was washed out by rain that delayed the start.
    But, in May 2013, Manziel took batting practice with the Padres at Petco Park and tossed out a football-style first pitch.
    On Manziel's first swing in batting practice, the bat flew out of his hands, but he settled down and later drove a pitch off the right-field wall.
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