Returning to Boston for the second time since being traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers during the 2008 season, Manny Ramirez said Friday that he was to blame for the turn of events that led to his departure from the team he helped lead to two World Series titles.
As he told ESPNBoston.com:
I think everything was my fault. But, hey, you’ve got to be a real man to realize when you do wrong. Hey, it was my fault. I’m already past that stage and I’m happy with my new team.
Ramirez, who declined to speak to reporters when he played in Fenway as a Dodger in June 2009, said he apologized to Kevin Youkilis in his last stop in Boston. The two players fought in the dugout prior to the trade that sent Ramirez to the Dodgers two years ago.
When I went to first base and saw Youkilis, I said, ‘Hey, what happened between you and me, I’m sorry. That’s my fault.’ So it takes a real man just to go and tell a person it was my fault. That’s what I did.
Far more talkative than usual, Ramirez also said today that he would have been willing to waive his no-trade clause to return to Boston had the Red Sox, rather than the White Sox, claimed him off waivers last month and that he’s not sure whether he’ll be back to play in 2011.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.