Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Manny Ramirez takes booing in stride, does not start against Los Angeles Angels

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon initially had DH Manny Ramirez in Wednesday's lineup but changed his mind, saying he wanted to give him a break because he feels the veteran slugger is pressing, trying to "shoulder too much of the burden" for a struggling offense.

Ramirez, 38, ended up pinch-hitting in the eighth of the Rays' 5-1 loss to the Angels, flying out to right to make him 1-for-17 (.059) this season.

His day off today won't be hitting related, however, as Maddon said he will miss the series opener in Chicago to tend to a personal matter. Maddon said it's connected to Ramirez's absence last Wednesday, when Ramirez said he was in South Florida taking care of something with his kids. Maddon said Ramirez will return to the lineup Friday.

Ramirez wasn't surprised to hear boos after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Tuesday, saying he has been there before and "it's all good." He said he doesn't feel like he's pressing but acknowledged he's swinging at bad pitches.

Maddon said the fact that Ramirez is chasing pitches indicated to him he's trying too hard, and he conveyed that to him in a pregame conversation.

"With guys like him, I think sometimes we forget, and I mean this in a manner that I hope people understand, it's not easy to be him sometimes," Maddon said. "There's a lot going on with his guy. He will be a Hall of Famer. He's in the latter part of his career. So, you can have different kind of moments mentally."

Ramirez, who left the clubhouse before it was open to the media after the game, seemed upbeat Wednesday morning, saying there's "plenty of time" for him to produce and get back on track. And Johnny Damon, his former teammate with Boston, believes he will.

"Manny is one of the greatest hitters of our generation, and even great hitters press," Damon said. "He's not used to failing at this game like average people. He'll find it. We just hope and pray that it's sooner rather than later."

REMEMBER ME? Tampa Bay faces White Sox RHP Edwin Jackson today for the first time since the former Ray threw a no-hitter at the Trop on June 25 when he was with the Diamondbacks. He did so with eight walks and 149 pitches.

"I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done already in a short career; he was a great teammate for us," Maddon said. "It'll be interesting to see him, but again, we're going to try to beat him. He had his way against us last time; hopefully it'll turn around this time."

HOT BAT: CF B.J. Upton set a career best with a five-game hitting streak to start the season, homering Wednesday. "He's getting the bat head out," Maddon said. "He's getting out front, he's not behind on pitches, he's not late on pitches."

COOL OFF: LHP David Price said the White Sox present a lot of firepower, even without DH Adam Dunn (out after an appendectomy). "One through nine, they can all hit the ball out of the yard," Price said. But it'll also be a challenge facing some cool weather, scheduled to be rainy and in the 40s-50s throughout the four-game series. "It'll be tough, we'll be battling that weather," Price said. "We haven't been in that cold weather in I don't know how long. But we'll be ready to go."

MISCELLANY: LHP J.P. Howell (shoulder) threw another bullpen session, with Maddon saying he'll likely be ready for a live batting practice by the time the Rays return from their seven-game road trip. … RHP Mike Ekstrom cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Durham. … Cal Ripken Jr. will throw out the first pitch for Class A Charlotte before tonight's game against visiting Bradenton at 6:30.

Tampa Bay Rays' Manny Ramirez takes booing in stride, does not start against Los Angeles Angels 04/06/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 10:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]
  3. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.