Joe Maddon benches Rays’ slugger Manny Ramirez

 

Tampa Bay Rays’ manager, Joe Maddon, believes that now is a perfect time to give his aging slugger, Manny Ramirez, a day off. Maddon, whose team has gotten off to an 0-5 start, insists that this is not a panic move, as Ramirez has gone a dreadful 1-16 to start the season. “We talked a little bit and then decided not to play him today,” said Maddon, who saw Ramirez go 0-4,  including three strikeouts, in a 5-3 Tuesday night loss to the Los Angeles Angels. “I know it’s early in the season, but nevertheless, I think he’s still pressing a bit.”  Maddon, who last season led his team to an American League East title, will also be without the services of  Ramirez on Thursday, due to some family business.  While Maddon remains patient that Ramirez will quickly turn things around, the same can’t be said about the home fans, who on Tuesday were strongly booing the 38 year-old. “It’s all right,” said Ramirez, who has 555 career homeruns with 1,831 RBI’s. “It’s not my first time [to strikeout three times]. I’m just getting myself out. I feel good. I’m not mad at myself.”

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