x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dodgers back tainted Ramirez

The Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre revealed Manny Ramirez was disappointed to have let down his teammates after being given a 50-game ban for use of a performance-enhancing substance.

The Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre revealed Manny Ramirez was disappointed to have let down his teammates after being given a 50-game ban for use of a performance-enhancing substance. The slugger, 35, said the substance was not a steroid and had been prescribed for him by a physician, although he accepted full responsibility and apologised to the Dodgers and their ownership. "The toughest thing for Manny is how he disappointed everybody. He loves it here and the fans got turned on by him," said Torre.

"He was devastated. The only advice I gave him was not spend a lot of time thinking about something you can't change, but change the things you can." The MLB Players Association confirmed that Ramirez will not appeal the ban, meaning the 12-time All-Star will not be eligible to return until July 3 although he will still be allowed to train with the club. "Who hasn't done something we wish we hadn't done?" said the Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.

"Had he dismissed it or acted like it was somebody else's fault, I'd have a hard time with it. He took ownership of what transpired. Admit your mistake in a public forum, that's not easy to do." Ramirez is in his first full season with the Dodgers, and is batting .348 with six home runs and 20 RBI through the first 27 games of the year. He signed a two-year, US$45 million (Dh166m) deal with the Dodgers earlier this year, after initially rejecting it and testing the market.

He joined the Dodgers in a trade from the Boston Red Sox last summer, and was credited with lifting a young team into the play-offs. The Los Angeles Dodgers lost their first home game in 14 outings on Thursday, going down 11-9 to the lowly Washington Nationals in the wake of suspension of Ramirez. The Dodgers (21-9) blew an early 6-0 lead to end their seven-game winning streak, leaving their coach and players scrambling to downplay the impact of his absence. "It really didn't bother us too much, we knew what we had to do today. We are all backing each other up," Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said. Ramirez, who had helped the Dodgers to a league-best 21-8 record for the season and a Major League Baseball record 13 successive home wins, will be ineligible to play until July 3.

* Agencies