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AROUND THE MAJORS

Healthy Ramirez Stays on the Bench

September 03, 2003|From Associated Press

Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez did not play in Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox even though he was healthy enough to be in the lineup.

Manager Grady Little denied he was punishing Ramirez for going out when he was supposed to be sick in bed.

"He is available to DH today, but my decision to wait is: I like the way our club has responded the last few days," Little told reporters before the game.

"I'm putting the team out there that I feel gives us the best chance to win."

Asked if Ramirez was being disciplined, Little said: "No, I'm trying to win the game."

In a statement, General Manager Theo Epstein said he supported Little's decision.

"Grady's going with a lineup that gives us the best chance to win as a team, and tonight, that does not include Manny, despite his availability to DH," Epstein said.

Ramirez called in sick for Friday night's game against the New York Yankees and was said to have a sore throat -- the same ailment that forced pitcher Pedro Martinez to miss a start the previous week. On Saturday, Ramirez went to Fenway Park to see the team's doctor but was sent back to bed.

On Saturday night, though, Ramirez was seen in the lobby of a Boston hotel with Yankee infielder Enrique Wilson, a former teammate of his from Cleveland. Wilson has confirmed that he was with Ramirez but said it was only for a few minutes.

On Sunday morning, Ramirez reportedly did not show up at the ballpark to check in with the Red Sox doctors.

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San Diego Padre closer Trevor Hoffman, fifth on the all-time list with 352 saves, was activated from the disabled list after sitting out the first five months after two off-season surgeries on his right shoulder.

Manager Bruce Bochy said he'll give Hoffman one inning of work every third game for his first three outings, and not necessarily in save situations.

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The Chicago White Sox activated former closer Billy Koch from the disabled list.

Koch was the AL's top reliever last year with Oakland, but he struggled in Chicago, and lost his closer's job in early July.

He is 5-5 with a 5.55 ERA and hasn't had a save since June 24.

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