Manny Ramirez walked into a South Florida hotel conference room Friday afternoon, hugged his teammates and coaches, then anxiously faced the group.
I’m sorry, he said.
And the Los Angeles Dodgers believed him.
Ramirez made the short drive from his home in Miami to apologize to the Dodgers at their waterfront hotel before the team opened a three-game series against the Florida Marlins, the first time he’d seen them since being suspended 50 games last week for using a banned substance.
“I think he was comfortable with the people he was around,” manager Joe Torre said. “But I think the circumstances made him uncomfortable.”
The meeting was brief, no more than 10 minutes, said third baseman Casey Blake – who, like Torre and other players, declined to provide many specifics. Ramirez was not at the ballpark and isn’t expected there this weekend, although Torre said the 12-time All-Star outfielder would discuss the situation “at whatever time he feels appropriate.”
Obama salutes Phils
President Barack Obama turned Phillie Phanatic for a day, praising the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies as “an underdog team that loved to prove the prognosticators wrong.”
“And so we share something in common there, because nobody thought I was going to win either,” he said to laughter at a White House reception.
Obama talked up manager Charlie Manuel and players such as Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, as well as fellow Hawaiian Shane Victorino.
Clearing the bases
Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero, out since April 16, took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the disabled list because of a torn muscle in his chest. … Minnesota outfielder Delmon Young left the team to attend to his ill mother in California and missed the start of a weekend series at the New York Yankees. … Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye is appealing the decision after Major League Baseball suspended and fined him an undisclosed amount after he threw his helmet and it bounced off an umpire in Wednesday’s win at Cleveland. … St. Louis minor league pitcher Ken Maiques and Arizona minor league outfielder Agustin Murillo have been suspended 50 games after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
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