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Manny spending most of his time in cages

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- So how is Manny Ramirez fitting into Triple-A Round Rock's clubhouse?

So far, so good.

"We really don't see him much," Express manager Bobby Jones said. "Most of the time he's at the cages. So I see him when he walks by the door and he goes to cages and when he walks back and then goes back to the cages again. He's been in there working on his hitting.

"I haven't seen any problems at all."

Ramirez spent most of the hour that the media was allowed access to the Express clubhouse talking to teammates, particularly 22-year-old infielder Leury Garcia, who was with the Texas Rangers for the first two months of the season.

Obviously this is a unique situation. Jones, a baseball lifer who is in his 26th season as a coach or manager in the Rangers' organization, said the only thing that compares is when controversial reliever John Rocker was with Oklahoma City in 2002.

Ramirez's new teammates said everything has gone smoothly so far. For outfielder Jared Hoying, who is 24 and grew up in Sidney, Ohio, he watched Ramirez when he played for the Cleveland Indians. And of course on TV for the Boston Red Sox.

He knows all about Manny's 555 career home runs. So Hoying has kept his distance.

"I haven't really talked to him," Hoying said. "I don't want to be that guy."