Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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Manny to make spring training debut Thursday

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[March 11, 2009]  PHOENIX (AP) -- Manny Ramirez is scheduled to make his spring training debut Thursday when the Los Angeles Dodgers play South Korea's World Baseball Classic team.

The exhibition game won't count in Cactus League standings, but Ramirez's return to the Dodgers after agreeing to a $45 million, two-year contract last week will make it a major attraction.

Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said Tuesday he isn't sure if Ramirez will play the outfield or be the designated hitter, but the slugger will get a start on the 50 or so at-bats he's expected to receive before opening day.

"With the veterans, I usually go back to the old press guides to see (how many at-bats) they've had in the past," Torre said. "You just want to make sure they are comfortable."

Ramirez has been showing up at 6 a.m. each day since he arrived in camp, lifting weights in full uniform before most of his teammates check in for the day.

"I'm behind, so I have to catch up," said Ramirez, who planned to be in camp Wednesday while his teammates get a day off. "I'm going to run the bases and lift and do what I need to do. I'm still sore, but it's getting better day by day. I'm still getting used to wearing (spikes) again. But I'm ready to see how I do."

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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