"It's hard, man," Ortiz said. "You can't even reach out to Manny when Manny was here. Manny changed his (phone) number. Who knows? Manny's on his own, always.
"There were times when we were playing together and said 'Let's meet at noon ... and have lunch and go to the field' and he'd say, 'Oh, OK.' Next thing you know, you can't reach him. And you just talked to him an hour ago."
It might be awhile before Ortiz even has a chance to speak with his old Boston slugging buddy. For one thing, Ramirez hasn't surfaced publicly since last Thursday, when his suspension was announced. For another, not only does he have a different number (again), according to Ortiz, but Ortiz says, he hasn't even spoken with Ramirez since late last season.
"I don't know what I would tell him," Ortiz said. "I haven't talked to (the media) about that and I won't. I don't know what to tell you.
"That's not the guy I know. That guy worked hard every day. It's going to be something crazy and hard to deal with."
Ortiz says that his memory of Ramirez in Boston is that of a guy who declined even pain medication from the trainer.
"The trainer would give him Tylenol, and he'd throw it in the trash can," Ortiz said.
Asked if he is upset with Ramirez, Ortiz thought for several seconds.
"It confuses me," he said. "But that's something I don't really want to talk about now."