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No Manny until March 1?

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  February 18, 2007 10:19 PM

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Red Sox pitcher Julian Tavarez said in a TV interview tonight that Manny Ramírez will not report to camp until March 1 because his mother requires surgery for an undisclosed reason.

Tavarez, who is good friends with Ramírez, made the comment to Dan Roche of WBZ-TV.

Manager Terry Francona, who was at City of Palms Park tonight taping a TV show, said he had no knowledge of the situation. The last information the team received, he said, was that Ramírez was in terrific shape, in good spirits, and planning to be here on time.

Position players are due to report Tuesday, with the first full squad workout two days later.

Tavarez has been held out of some drills because of lingering soreness in his right ankle, which he injured during the Caribbean Series while playing for the Dominican Republic.

Tavarez has been mentioned in trade speculation this winter, most recently during talks the Sox had with the Rockies regarding first baseman Todd Helton.

Asked if he expected to be traded, Tavarez said: "Not yet."

The journeyman said he would not be dismayed if a trade happens. The positive part of being traded, he said, is that the team doesn't make a deal unless it wants the player. "Piece of cake," he said. "Different color uniform, but the money is still green."

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