Manny Ramirez facing battery charge
WESTON, Fla. -- Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez was arrested and charged with battery Monday after a domestic dispute at his South Florida home, police said.
Ramirez, 39, and his wife were arguing in their bedroom when he slapped her face, causing her to hit her head on their bed's headboard, according to a police report. She told the deputy she was afraid the situation would escalate and called police.
Ramirez denied hitting his wife, according to the report, telling a deputy "he grabbed his wife by the shoulders and when he shrugged her, she hit her head."
Ramirez's wife, Juliana, had red swelling on her face and a small bruise on the back of her head, the police report said. She did not want medical treatment.
Ramirez retired in April from the Tampa Bay Rays after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Rather than face a 100-game suspension for a second violation of Major League Baseball's drug policy, the 12-time All-Star left the game.
Ramirez previously served a 50-game ban in 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Second-time offenders get double that penalty.
One of the game's great sluggers, Ramirez was named MVP of the World Series in 2004 and helped Boston end an 86-year title drought.
He was selected 13th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 amateur draft and rose quickly through the minor leagues with a youthful exuberance and natural charisma.
He broke into the majors in 1993 and played his first full season the following year, when he finished second to the Royals' Bob Hamlin in voting for Rookie of the Year. Ramirez went on to establish himself as one of the game's most feared hitters, adopting a dreadlock hairdo that seemed to mirror his happy-go-lucky demeanor.
He signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in December 2000, helping the long-suffering franchise win the World Series a few years later, then doing it again in 2007.
The Red Sox traded him to the Dodgers in July 2008. He instantly became a fan favorite on the West Coast, with "Mannywood" signs popping up around town, as he led Los Angeles to the NL West title and a sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. The clutch performances earned Ramirez a $45 million, two-year contract.
All that good will fizzled the following May, when Ramirez tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin, a banned female fertility drug often used to help mask steroid use.
The Rays had hoped Ramirez could add some pop to a lineup that lost several key pieces off last year's AL East champions, but he played in only five games for the Rays, with one hit in 17 at-bats.
Ramirez was a .312 career hitter with 13 seasons of 100-plus RBIs and 555 home runs, 14th on the all-time list.
It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. Jail records did not list one for him. A woman who answered the phone at a home listing for Ramirez said it was the wrong number and hung up.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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