ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – David Ortiz was “shocked” when he learned about former teammate Manny Ramirez’s 50-game suspension after he failed a drug test.

“This situation has shocked me. That’s not the guy that I know,” the Boston Red Sox designated hitter said before Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. “The only thing I know about him is that he’s a guy who works hard every day and gets prepared to play the game.”

Ramirez remains in his self-imposed exile and still hasn’t addressed his teammates in person.

Ortiz doesn’t plan to reach out to the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, who played with Ortiz in Boston from 2003-08, winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007.

“It’s hard, man,” Ortiz said. “You couldn’t even reach out to Manny when Manny was here. I’m serious. Manny is on his own, always. When we were here playing together, it would have been, “OK, let’s meet around noon so we can have lunch and then go to the field.’ He’d say OK, and the next thing you know, you’d be calling his phone in the room and you wouldn’t reach him – and you just talked to him an hour ago. But that’s him.”

Even if Ramirez phoned him, Ortiz is convinced it would be useless to offer advice.

“I wouldn’t waste my time, because he wouldn’t take it,” Ortiz said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t know what to tell him, anyway. It’s going to be something that’s crazy and hard to deal with, but we’ll see. Hopefully he knows what’s up, and he’ll learn from his mistake and do the right thing.”

Ortiz said he was too busy to think about the suspension when it was imposed last week because he is trying to figure out how to end his season-opening home run drought. But after a coast-to-coast flight and a night away from the daily grind, he finally opened up on the subject about three hours before the game with the Angels.

While holding court in front of his locker, answering questions about why he didn’t have a home run yet, Ortiz was asked how much not having Ramirez batting behind him in the lineup anymore was a factor.

“I don’t think that has to do with Manny, because I’ve seen pitches to hit out,” he said.

Ortiz hasn’t spoken with Ramirez since last season, sometime after the Red Sox sent the disgruntled star to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way trade with Pittsburgh at the non-waiver trade deadline.

AP-ES-05-12-09 2105EDT

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