Originally created 02/22/06

Red Sox's Ramirez given six more days to report

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Manny Ramirez was given permission by the Boston Red Sox to report to spring training on March 1, six days after the team's first full-squad workout and one day after Major League Baseball's mandatory reporting date.

Ramirez asked the team through his agent to trade him during the offseason, but the Red Sox were unable to find a deal to their liking.

Position players are due in town today, the day before the first workout. Baseball's collective bargaining agreement sets the mandatory reporting date as 33 days prior to the major league opener, which is April 2.

Ramirez batted .292 with 45 homers and 144 RBI last year.

WHITE SOX: Having decided to skip playing for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, Chicago White Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi reported a day early to spring training.

Iguchi, who took batting practice Tuesday, was fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last season. He announced in January that he would bypass the WBC.

Iguchi batted .278 and had 71 RBI and 15 homers last season. He hit second last year and could be used lower in the lineup.

LATE PASS: Given permission to report late to spring training, reliever Roberto Hernandez arrived in the Pittsburgh Pirates' camp Tuesday.

Hernandez, the former USC Aiken star, received the OK to report late from general manager Dave Littlefield because the pitcher's father is ailing. Hernandez needed the extra time to move his parents from his native Dominican Republic to his current home in Gulfport, Fla.

The 41-year-old right-hander was the New York Mets' most reliable reliever last season with a 2.58 ERA.

Working as a setup man, he surrendered a run in only 12 of his 67 appearances.

Pittsburgh signed him to a one-year contract worth $2.75 million, and he'll help set up closer Mike Gonzalez.

RANGERS-DURAZO: Free agent first baseman Erubiel Durazo signed a minor league contract with Texas.

The 32-year-old Durazo had ligament replacement surgery in his left elbow last July, after hitting .237 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 41 games for Oakland.

Durazo didn't play after May 25 because of elbow problems and went on the disabled list for the seventh time in his career.

In 2004, Durazo was fifth in the AL with a .321 batting average. He set career highs with 36 doubles, 22 home runs and 88 RBI.

CARDINALS: In Jupiter, Fla., Larry Walker made his first spring training appearance Tuesday with the St. Louis Cardinals, only as an instructor instead of as player.

After spending 18 years in the major leagues with the Expos, Rockies and Cardinals, Walker is on manager Tony La Russa's training-camp staff.

"I don't know if someone caught wind of it or not," Walker said.

"But I mentioned it to a couple people. Tony called, we talked for a little while. The subject came up, and he said, 'If you want to come out, come out.' "

The Cardinals' former right fielder now makes his residence in Florida.


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