PHILADELPHIA (AP) – If Manny Ramirez is going to apologize in person to his teammates, it’s unlikely the suspended slugger will do it in the next few days.

Ramirez didn’t join the Los Angeles Dodgers for their trip to Philadelphia. He could make an appearance in the clubhouse in Florida this weekend when the Dodgers play the Marlins.

“I’m assuming there’s a chance,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said before Tuesday night’s game against the Phillies. “We haven’t been given any definitive information. He’s beaten up over this, not that he thinks it’s unfair, it’s just that he’s embarrassed and I think he just needs some time to clear his head.

“The sooner the better for everybody involved. We want to see him as a team. The players are supporting him because we know him as a person and we want to help him through that,” he said.

Ramirez was banned for 50 games last Thursday for failing a drug test. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt met with the outfielder last week and asked that he apologize to his teammates face-to-face. Ramirez lives in Pembroke Pines, Fla., making a reunion in Miami more likely.

“He needs to just give the players a chance to hug him or talk to him,” Torre said. “I don’t think he needs to address the players, just to show up. It won’t be anything negative. I’ve talked to him four times. He wasn’t the same guy.”

The Dodgers certainly miss Ramirez’ big bat in the middle of their lineup. But they also miss his big smile and playful personality in the locker room.

“He certainly elevates everybody’s mood. There’s no question about it,” Torre said. “When he was here, he was a friend to everybody. He helped a lot of young players. There was nothing phony about him.”

Ramirez batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games with Los Angeles last year, helping them win the NL West title and reach the NLCS.

The 12-time All-Star was hitting .348 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 27 games this year. Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million contract in the offseason.

AP-ES-05-12-09 1837EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.