Tag:Manny Ramirez
Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:08 pm

Dodgers fielding Manny offers, deal not close

Manny Ramirez stole the headlines two Julys ago when the contending Dodgers struck at the last minute to acquire him from Boston.

Could he do it again this July?

The Dodgers are fielding phone calls on him in these last three hours leading up today's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline, but a deal right now appears unlikely.

For one thing, sources familiar with the Dodgers' thinking insist that "it has to be a good deal" for Los Angeles to deal the currently disabled Manny and so far, rivals are offering too few cents on the dollar in value.

For another, with Ramirez owed a pro-rated share of his $20 million salary for the rest of this year, he should easily sail through waivers, which should discourage rivals from paying the Dodgers a competitive return for him now.

The White Sox were among a handful of clubs who have contacted the Dodgers over the past 24 hours about Ramirez's availability. Tampa Bay is reportedly another.

Ramirez currently is on the disabled list for a third time this season, this time with a strained calf. He did not even travel with the Dodgers on their current trip to San Diego and San Francisco, opting to rehab at the club's Arizona spring training facility, and the club has grown increasingly disenchanted with him this season.

Posted on: October 14, 2009 10:36 pm

Phillies expected to pitch Manny inside again

LOS ANGELES -- Though he no longer carries the Dodger lineup on his back like he did last year, all eyes will remain on Manny Ramirez when Game 1 begins Thursday simply because of memories of how the Phillies treated him in last year's NLCS.

When Brett Myers buzzed Ramirez in Game 2, it nearly caused an international incident. It probably would have had Chad Billingsley or any other Dodger pitcher bothered to step up and respond.

Ramirez isn't the same hitter now as he was then -- he hit just .255 with 10 homers and 34 RBI after the All-Star break this year -- but that doesn't mean the Phillies will treat him more lightly.

Nobody knows Ramirez better than Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, who became a father-figure to Manny during their years together in Cleveland in the 1990s (Manny as hitting savant, Manuel as the club's hitting coach).

And from the opposing dugout, Manuel always has believed that the most effective way to pitch Ramirez is to "move him around" in the box.

Doesn't necessarily mean drill him.

But it does mean pitch him tight inside, perhaps uncomfortably inside, certainly enough to make him move his feet and back away from the plate.

That Manny isn't the force he was a year ago was evident during Wednesday's workouts in Dodger Stadium. At his formal press briefing, Manuel wasn't asked one question about Ramirez.

The Dodgers, though, spent plenty of time answering questions on the importance for their pitchers to work both sides of the plate -- even though they essentially broadcast their main answer nationally when they unveiled their rotation and Chad Billingsley wasn't in it.

"Pitchers pitch to their strengths and weaknesses," Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa said. "Clayton Kershaw pitches inside. Randy Wolf pitches inside. Vicente Padilla pitches inside."

All three of those were named to the Dodgers' NLCS rotatoin -- Kershaw starting Game 1, Padilla Game 2 and Wolf Game 4. Hiroki Kuroda will start Game 3.

"Pitchers have got to do what they did all year," Bowa said. "I don't think you can say, 'This is the playoffs, I'm going to change.'"

Said manager Joe Torre: "I think it's important all year to [pitch inside]. But last year it got out of hand over there [in Philadelphia] on us. I thought the next game, when we played it back here, sort of showed that we could pitch effectively.

"But again, it's something that you always encourage pitchers to do, and you make sure that your'e able to go out there and make sure that you have a presence as far as knowing what's yours and what's theirs."


Posted on: July 30, 2009 3:03 pm

Ortiz has long denied PED use

As soon as Manny Ramirez was popped for violating baseball's performance-enhancing drugs policy, David Ortiz knew that he, too, would be linked with his ex-Boston teammate.

Only this wasn't back in 2003, when, as the New York Times revealed Thursday, Ramirez and Ortiz each failed tests.

This was in May, just a few days after Ramirez was suspended for 50 games.

I sat with Ortiz in the visiting dugout in Angel Stadium in the midst of Ortiz's horrible start this season while doing a column on him.

And as he and I sat and talked, I told Ortiz that, even as he maintained he was clean, Ramirez's suspension would cause lots of people to link the two of them anyway.

Ortiz acknowledged that was true and it made him angry.

"(People) must be saying that all over the place already," a disgusted Ortiz said. "I don't care. Why do I gotta make the mistake he just made? If a reporter does bad things, I've gotta blame you because you're his friend? It's not fair.

"It's wrong. Totally wrong. Manny is one person. I'm another person. I'm not Manny's babysitter.

"Why should people blame me because he f----- up?"

This was five days after Ramirez was socked with the 50-game suspension.

Thursday, approached before a game with Oakland by a New York Times reporter regarding the paper's story, Ortiz declined comment.

Posted on: July 3, 2009 6:54 pm

Ramirez not talking about "criminal record"

SAN DIEGO -- When he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers a few weeks into spring training, his first words were, "I'm baaaack."

At 3 p.m. PDT Friday, Manny Ramirez walked into a news conference here and announced, "Showtime!"

Freed to enter a major-league ballpark following his 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, Ramirez, penciled in to bat third for tonight's game against the Padres, apologized to fans and teammates for "not being there."

But it clearly is an uncomfortable Ramirez who is back, and it's clear that he's not providing any details on anything related to steroids.

"I'm not talking about my criminal record," he joked at one point during the 12-minute news conference.

Asked right out of the gate when he started using steroids and what his regimen was, Ramirez deflected the question.

"First I want to say God is good and good is God," Ramirez replied, with agent Scott Boras sitting to his right. "I'm happy to be here. I missed the game. I'm happy to play."

Asked what he would say to the fans, he was vague.

"I want to say I'm sorry to the fans and to my teammates," Ramirez said. "They are always there for me. I'd like to thank (Dodgers owner) Frank McCourt for his support."

He said the general reaction to him has "been great everywhere I go. People are there for me. They gave me support. It hasn't been that bad."

Asked what he was sorry for, Ramirez demurred.

"I'm not getting into that," he said. "If you want to talk about the game. ... Not being there for (teammates). Not being able to play the game. I'm a huge part of the Dodgers. ... When I say I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

Asked specifically whether he was sorry for taking steroids, Ramirez said: "I already answered that question, sir."

Manager Joe Torre has Ramirez batting third and Andre Ethier fourth tonight.

Perhaps part of Ramirez's apology should be directly to Ethier.

"I think his batting average suffered because of (Manny's) absence," said Torre, who also attended Ramirez's "news" conference. "I think he put a lot of pressure on himself."

Ramirez made it clear he is happy to be back.

Did he learn anything? Sure, he said.

"What I learned is if you do the right thing, you never have to look back," he said. "That's what I learned."


Posted on: May 12, 2009 9:06 pm

Ortiz on Manny: "It confuses me"

Leave it to David Ortiz to put things into perspective when asked whether he's "reached out" to Manny Ramirez since Ramirez's 50-game suspension.

"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."


Posted on: May 8, 2009 5:00 pm

Stories they could (and do) tell

Of course Manny Ramirez blames a doctor in Florida for prescribing him bad stuff for "a personal health issue."

Of course the doctor "gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me," Manny said in his statement.

Of course. Rare is the player who violates baseball's drug prevention program testing, or is shoulder-deep in circumstantial evidence, and is actually guilty.

Let's review:

Alex Rodriguez: Said his cousin in Florida got some stuff for him. "I didn't think they were steroids. Again, that's part of being young and stupid."

Paul Byrd: The pitcher, then working for Cleveland in the 2007 American League Championship Series, said he began taking Human Growth Hormone as part of treatment for a tumor on his pituitary gland. Said he took it under medical supervision. Later reports alleged that Byrd actually began taking HGH before any pituitary gland tumor was found and that one of the medical "professionals" to have prescribed Byrd's stash was a Florida dentist whose dental license had been suspended for fraud and incompetence. Don't know if that Florida dentist knows Manny's Florida doctor.

(I don't know whether Byrd's Florida dentist knows Manny's Florida doctor. Or whether the dentist and the doctor know A-Rod's Florida cousin. I do know this is all sounds like something hatched in a Carl Hiaasen novel.)

Rafael Palmeiro: "I did not do this intentionally or knowingly." He said he thought he was getting vitamin B-12 from then-teammate Miguel Tejada.

Alex Sanchez: The first major-leaguer suspended, back in 2004, under the drug policy. "I take stuff I buy over the counter," he said. "Multivitamins, protein shakes, muscle relaxants. That kind of stuff."

Barry Bonds: The Cream? The Clear? Bonds said he thought it was flaxseed oil.

Roger Clemens: Hey man, it was Vitamin B-12. And the injections were Lidocaine.

Sergio Mitre: Former Cubs pitcher suspended in January after taking banned substance "unwittingly" that was purchased from a legal supplement at a GNC store.

Mike Cameron: Tested positive for a banned stimulant twice. "I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted."

J.C. Romero: Phillies reliever has filed suit against nutritional supplement manufacturer alleging an unlisted ingredient in one of its products caused him to test positive for a substance banned by Major League Baseball.

Likes: Former pitcher Rob Dibble on SIRIUS XM satellite radio Thursday: "I almost believe that you should get a lifetime ban for idiocy because it's just so ridiculous that you could think 'I'm above it all, I'm Manny Ramirez, I'm Alex Rodriguez, I'm Rafael Palmeiro, I'm Roger Clemens.' How many more guys do I have to name before we run out of heroes and superstar players in the major leagues that you actually believe aren't doing this stuff?" ... And this from Dibble on SIRIUS XM: "To me, it's an embarrassment for all of these guys, more so for the people that didn't cheat and the guys that played, 20, 30, 40 years ago, including people like Roberto Clemente or Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays. Can you imagine these older gentlemen sitting at home and hearing about this?" ... Dontrelle Willis to start for Detroit at Minnesota on Wednesday. ... State of Play. Entertaining movie, though a little schmaltzy in places with the repartee between the Russell Crowe reporter character and the Rachel McAdams blogger character. ... KLOS, the venerable rock radio station in Los Angeles (95.5 on your dial). Good stuff.

Dislikes: Bob Melvin is a good man. Arizona's problems run way deeper than him. But it's right there in the manager's handbook: One day, you must go.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?
"A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
"What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
"Joltin' Joe has left and gone away"

-- Simon and Garfunkel, Mrs. Robinson

Posted on: May 7, 2009 12:51 pm

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

Manny Ramirez has stepped into a lot of history books lately, but Thursday he stepped into the wrong one: Biggest name to be put on ice for 50 games after failing a performance-enhancing drug test since baseball got religion about steroids.

That sort of takes the edge off of the Los Angeles Dodgers' record 13-0 home start, doesn't it?

Ah, dreadlocks!

Baseball never caught up to Barry Bonds. Sammy Sosa disappeared. Mark McGwire melted into a puddle in front of Congress. Alex Rodriguez actually did fail a PED test, but that was before it resulted in suspensions. And baseball never outed him, that information was leaked.

This, this is 100 percent, prime-time, major-league baseball driven. And it does two things:

1. Whatever you've thought of baseball's testing program, Ramirez's suspension Thursday adds credibility to it. Loads. Because this side of A-Rod or, perhaps, Albert Pujols, there is no bigger fish in the game. For baseball to whack an impact player like Manny, Lordy, Lordy. The reverberations will be felt deep into the corners of every clubhouse in the game.

2. It hollows out Ramirez's numbers because, until now, and especially lately after his run last year, all conversation surrounding Ramirez has included the phrase "one of the greatest hitters of all-time." Really? Maybe. If you can get past the new stain.

Somewhere, A-Rod no doubt is smiling, at least a little, in anticipation of his pot being turned down to simmer from full boil.

Over in Mannywood, this blow is devastating to the Dodgers. Barely a month into the season, there already are signs all over the place that this was shaping up to be a special summer. The home start, the best record in baseball, the 6 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

But now, instead of turning the divisional race into a blowout and storming toward their first World Series since 1988, the emergency brake has been yanked on the Dodgers. They'll have to muddle through without Manny for nearly a third of the season. Without an appeal and assuming the suspension begins tonight against Washington, if my math is right, Manny won't be eligible again until July 3.

The glee in Boston already is deafening. Though now we must play the game of "How long has Manny been on the juice?" and you figure that this all didn't just start yesterday. Does it compromise what he did in Fenway (and, consequently, the two World Series the Red Sox won with him)? Does it date back to Cleveland?

All we know for sure is, the game suffered another cataclysmic earthquake on Thursday. Manny, dreadlocks and all, will never be viewed the same again.

And regarding the Dodgers' 13-0 home start: Turns out, that is one heckuva unlucky number, isn't it?

Posted on: May 3, 2009 3:15 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2009 3:19 pm

Manny not in Dodgers' lineup Sunday

LOS ANGELES -- It will be a Sunday afternoon off for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez, at least to start. Manager Joe Torre said Ramirez is not in this afternoon's lineup against San Diego because of tightness in his hamstring.

"I was hoping we could wait until Monday or Tuesday to give him a day off , but we'll have four guys off today," said Torre, who also is sitting leadoff man Rafael Furcal, catcher Russell Martin and third baseman Casey Blake as the Dodgers look to extend their home record to 10-0.

Of Ramirez, Torre quipped: "I knew he was moving a little slower, but I chose to ignore that."

Ramirez has played in 24 of the Dodgers' first 25 games and has five home runs and 15 RBI. He is hitting .349 with a .495 on-base percentage. Torre did not say which hamstring his tight.

"What I've got to do is find a formula to space this stuff out," Torre said of a planned rotation to rest some of his veteran players.

Ramirez was expected to be available to pinch-hit if need be Sunday. He also is expected to return to the lineup Monday when the Dodgers open a two-game series against Arizona.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com