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Former Tampa Bay Ray Manny Ramirez released from jail

Former Tampa Bay Ray Manny Ramirez was released from jail Tuesday after authorities arrested him for allegedly slapping his wife during a dispute at their South Florida home.

Ramirez was released from the Broward County Jail on $2,500 bail on the domestic battery charge. Broward Circuit Judge Jon Hurley ordered that he have no direct contact with his wife.

Broward sheriff's officials say the 39-year-old Ramirez was arguing Monday afternoon with his wife, Juliana, when he slapped her face, causing her to hit her head on their bed's headboard. She told the deputy she was afraid the situation would escalate.

Authorities say Ramirez denied hitting his wife.

On the tape of the 911 call, released Tuesday by the Broward Sheriff's Office, Juliana Ramirez tells the sheriff's dispatcher, "My husband just hit me."

She told the dispatcher she was struck on her face and head and had a bump on her head. Later, she declined medical attention.

Ramirez was met by several family members when he left the jail just before noon ET Tuesday, getting into a white Cadallic Escalade.

A knot of reporters and television cameras had followed him to the parking lot, but he refused to answer questions saying, "Let me see, where's my family?"

When a reporter said, "You have to give us something," Ramirez replied, "Not my problem."

He spoke to another TV reporter in Spanish and put his arm around two of the female reporters. He was wearing a tight T-shirt and dark, low-slung pants.

One woman, who identified herself as his sister, spoke briefly.

"He's my brother, we love him no matter what. He's an amazing guy and we love him no matter what," she said before rolling up the window. She refused to give her name.

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.

Ramirez was named MVP of the World Series in 2004 and helped the Boston Red Sox end an 86-year title drought.

He was selected 13th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 amateur draft out of New York City 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 honors.

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 of that goodwill 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.

Former Tampa Bay Ray Manny Ramirez released from jail 09/13/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:26pm]
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