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Tavarez on Manny

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  February 19, 2007 09:22 AM

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Red Sox relief pitcher Julian Tavarez, and friend of Manny Ramirez, held court in the Red Sox clubhouse this morning, discussing the latest developments surrounding the slugger’s anticipated arrival in camp.

“I spoke to Manny yesterday and he said he’s going to be here the first, March 1,” Tavarez said. Tomorrow is the reporting date for positional players in camp.

Ramirez was given permission by the Red Sox to report on March 1 last season, but as of last night, manager Terry Francona told the Globe’s Gordon Edes he had no knowledge of the situation.

Tavarez said that Ramirez’s mother had surgery recently for what was feared to have been a tumor in her chest and that Ramirez, who is in Weston, Fla. with her, had been having a difficult time dealing with the situation.

“Everybody here is like Manny, Manny, Manny, so nobody believes that. But this is true about his mom,” Tavarez said. “She’ll be OK, but she really got surgery.”

Tavarez did tell Edes this morning, however, that his mother's condition is not the reason for his tardiness. "Manny being Manny," Tavarez said.

Tavarez said that despite the health of his mother, Ramirez seemed to be in good spirits.

“The way he sounded yesterday, he was laughing,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because his mom, you know she’s home already and he’s happy. But he said, ‘Hang in there, I’ll be there the first.’ I said you better show up out here, what the hell are you doing home? He was just laughing. It’s Manny.”

Tavarez also said to rest assured that Ramirez would show up in shape and ready for the exhibition season.

“Manny is really prepared for the things that he does to play ball,” he said. “He’s worked hard in the offseason, always shows up in good shape. Manny is going to show up late, Manny is going to show up early, he’s still going to put up 100 RBI, 40 home runs and hit .300. He’s a natural player right there.”

  • Luis Tiant, a bluetooth device attached to his right ear, was present in the clubhouse, chatting away with Red Sox pitchers Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen.

  • Many of the media members are doing their best to pick up even a little Japanese - as is Jason Varitek, who greeted a reporter this morning in Japanese. Here are a couple of words we picked up:

    How are you?: Ogenki desu ka (The U is silent)

    Thank you: Arigato

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