Monday, May 25, 2009
Manny works out following suspension
LOS ANGELES -- Manny Ramirez worked out at Dodger Stadium on Monday for the first time since he was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy 2½ weeks ago.
Ramirez took batting practice at the empty stadium, team spokesman Josh Rawitch said. The rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers were in Denver, where they beat the Rockies 16-6. Their road trip continues this week against the Rockies and Chicago Cubs.
The slugger returned to Los Angeles from his Miami area home, where he had been staying in shape on his own. He met with the club on May 15 at the team hotel in Miami, his first interaction with his teammates since his suspension.
Under Major League Baseball rules, Ramirez can work out with the Dodgers, but he must be off the field by the time the stadium gates open.
Ramirez is eligible to be activated for the July 3 game at San Diego if the Dodgers don't have any rainouts. He is expected to serve a 10-day minor league rehabilitation assignment at the end of his suspension, which is allowed under the rules for suspended players.
The Dodgers are 10-7 since Ramirez was suspended May 7, leading the NL West by 7½ games. Juan Pierre has replaced Ramirez in left field and is hitting .397 with 16 RBIs.
A person familiar with details of Ramirez's suspension told The Associated Press he used the female fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which is banned by baseball. HCG is popular among steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs.
Ramirez said he did not take steroids and was given medication by a doctor that contained a banned substance.
MLB.com first reported the workout.