CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns don’t expect quarterback Johnny Manziel to drop the football and pick up a bat anytime soon.
Manziel was drafted last week by the San Diego Padres, a selection that shocked Cleveland coach Mike Pettine, who said he didn’t even know his well-known rookie had a background in baseball.
“My first question was I didn’t really even realize that he played baseball,” Pettine said after practice Wednesday. “I think it was back in high school, and I didn’t even get a chance to talk to him about it.”
Pettine received a text informing him Manziel had been picked in the 28th round — the 837th player taken — by the Padres, but didn’t give it much thought. Manziel did play baseball at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, and he considered playing at Texas A&M before focusing on football.
Manziel had some history with the Padres. He visited the club in 2013 when he was in San Diego working with a quarterbacks coach.
“He certainly loves baseball,” Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said last week. “We kind of talked about it at that time, ‘Do you want us to draft you?’ He said, ‘Yeah, absolutely.'”
Pettine was asked if he thought the Padres’ move is a publicity stunt.
“I don’t know,” he said. “When I heard it, somebody texted me about it, and I didn’t think it was that big of a deal because the kid’s die-hard football. It was a bit of a surprise.”
Pettine is keeping Manziel, who was selected with the No. 22 overall pick in last month’s NFL draft, off limits to the media this week during minicamp, but he offered a reaction on behalf of the 21-year-old to being drafted.
“I’ll answer for him,” Pettine said, smiling. “He’s football through and through.”