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Team patiently awaits Ramírez

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- No postcards from Italy. Maybe, David Ortiz suggested with a smile, Manny Ramírez is now headed for Brazil.

But while he says he hasn't talked to him, Ortiz said he expected Ramírez to be in camp this week.

Position players are scheduled to report tomorrow, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Thursday.

''Manny's the kind of guy, on top of everything, he winds up doing what he's supposed to," Ortiz said. ''It doesn't matter what he does, at the end of the season he's going to be there."

Ortiz said he hasn't spoken with Ramírez in several weeks, but one club official said Sunday that Ramírez wasn't traveling abroad.

Manager Terry Francona said yesterday he hasn't spoken with Ramírez, either, but expects the player in camp -- and in a Sox uniform when the season begins.

''I guess he asked for a trade," Francona said. ''He probably won't be traded.

''Manny's never come into my office and told me that [he wanted a trade]. On the rare occasions when we've butted heads, the kid plays.

''Effort is great. One-hundred-forty RBIs are great, too. That's how you win games, keeping your best players on the field, trying to play the game to the best of their ability.

''And that's our job, not to instill our will on everybody and have them not want to play. Sometimes as coach or manager, you have to be a little bit flexible, too. That's our responsibility, to understand these guys, what makes them work and what makes them play well.

''I didn't think he would ever be traded. I just didn't think it was realistic. I just didn't see how it would ever happen. He's too good. Our ownership and [general manager] Theo [Epstein] and the guys, they tried to look at some things, but you can't get enough back. You can't replace that bat."

Foulke impresses

Keith Foulke, who ordinarily has no interest in throwing a side session this early in camp, threw his first bullpen outing yesterday, one he had described the day before as being a barometer of the progress he has made since last season's debacle and the surgery he had done on both knees. Foulke didn't discuss his outing, but Francona was encouraged. ''The ball came out of his hand well," Francona said. ''I promised these guys. I told them and I mean it, we're certainly not evaluating them down there. But saying that, the ball came out of his hand. That was nice to see, the changeup, he located his fastball, he showed good arm strength. I thought it was very encouraging." . . . Curt Schilling did not work out on the field. ''His whole family's sick," Francona said, ''and he's close." After being evaluated by the team's medical personnel, Schilling did some conditioning work in the clubhouse, then went home.

Pedroia flexible

Rookie infielder Dustin Pedroia, in his first big-league camp, joined the early arrivals, working out yesterday morning. The former No. 1 draft pick out of Arizona State, who was moved from shortstop to second to accommodate Hanley Ramírez, said he is prepared to play both positions now that Ramírez has been traded to the Marlins as part of the Josh Beckett deal. ''They haven't told me anything," he said. ''In the offseason, I took ground balls at both spots. Wherever they tell me, I'll be ready for. I'm comfortable at both spots. Whatever happens, I've got open arms. I'm happy to be here. I just want to make the team." Pedroia would seem to be a long shot, with the Sox having acquired Alex González and Mark Loretta to play short and second . . . New third baseman Mike Lowell, who lives across the state in Miami, arrived in the afternoon, after the day's workout concluded.

Playing by the rules
The club said that Adam Stern must remain on the active roster 17 days, not 18, if the club does not want to return the 2004 Rule 5 pick to the Braves. The rule, an obscure one, dictates that a player spend 90 days on a team's big league roster; because of his stints on the disabled list, Stern fell short. ''Most confusing Rule 5 ever, I think," Stern said. ''Whatever happens, happens." . . . The Sox have 22 rostered pitchers in camp, with Lenny DiNardo the only lefty reliever. David Wells, Jon Lester, and Abe Alvarez are the other lefthanders. There are seven nonroster pitchers, including four lefties: Craig Breslow, Mike Bumatay, Mike Holtz, and Phil Seibel.

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