Friday, May 24, 2013
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Curt Anderson, The Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez was released from jail today after authorities arrested him for allegedly slapping his wife during a dispute at their South Florida home.
Manny Ramirez is escorted by an unidentified family member as he leaves the Broward County Jail in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., today.
Booking photo of Manny Ramirez made available by the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
Ramirez was released from the Broward County Jail on $2,500 bail on the domestic battery charge. Broward Circuit Judge Jon Hurley ordered that he have no direct contact with his wife.
Broward sheriff's officials say 39-year-old Ramirez was arguing with his wife, Juliana, Monday afternoon when he slapped her face, causing her to hit her head on their bed's headboard. She told the deputy she was afraid the situation would escalate.
Authorities say Ramirez denied hitting his wife.
Ramirez was met by several family members when he left the jail just before noon, getting into a white Cadallic Escalade.
A knot of reporters and television cameras had followed him to the parking lot, but he refused to answer questions saying, "Let me see, where's my family?"
When a reporter said "You have to give us something," Ramirez replied: "Not my problem."
He spoke to another TV reporter in Spanish and put his arm around two of the female reporters. He was wearing a tight, muscle-showing T-shirt and dark, low-slung pants.
One woman, who identified herself as his sister, spoke briefly.
"He's my brother, we love him no matter what. He's an amazing guy and we love him no matter what," she said before rolling up the window. She refused to give her name.
Ramirez retired in April from the Tampa Bay Rays after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Rather than face a 100-game suspension for a second violation of Major League Baseball's drug policy, the 12-time All-Star left the game.
Ramirez previously served a 50-game ban in 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Second-time offenders get double that penalty.
One of the game's great sluggers, Ramirez was named MVP of the World Series in 2004 and helped Boston end an 86-year title drought.
He was selected 13th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 amateur draft out of New York City and rose quickly through the minor leagues with a youthful exuberance and natural charisma.
He broke into the majors in 1993 and played his first full season the following year, when he finished second to the Royals' Bob Hamlin in voting for Rookie of the Year. Ramirez went on to establish himself as one of the game's most feared hitters, adopting a dreadlock hairdo that seemed to mirror his happy-go-lucky demeanor.
He signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in December 2000, helping the long-suffering franchise win the World Series a few years later, then doing it again in 2007.
The Red Sox traded him to the Dodgers in July 2008. He instantly became a fan favorite on the West Coast, with "Mannywood" signs popping up around town, as he led Los Angeles to the NL West title and a sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. The clutch performances earned Ramirez a $45 million, two-year contract.
All that goodwill fizzled the following May, when Ramirez tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin, a banned female fertility drug often used to help mask steroid use.