LOS ANGELES – Manny Ramirez apologized to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt during a meeting to discuss his 50-game suspension for using a banned drug.
Next, the slugger might face his teammates in the next few days.
McCourt said Ramirez called him and the two met Saturday, two days after the 12-time All-Star began serving a penalty imposed by Major League Baseball.
“I wanted to meet him face to face,” McCourt said. “He started off the meeting by apologizing and acknowledging the disappointment that he’s created – not only for me but for others.
“He’s in the process right now of doing what anybody else would do if they made a mistake, in terms of making amends here and communicating with the people he knows he has to communicate with and then going about repairing his relationships.
“And of course, his is magnified many times because he’s a public figure and a very popular one.”
McCourt also said he thinks Ramirez should speak to his teammates about the suspension.
“If Manny takes the steps that I’m hopeful he will, I think this will be something that won’t damage this franchise at all,” McCourt said Sunday.
“We all make mistakes, and it’s how we deal with those mistakes that really differentiates one from the other. And if Manny does with others what he did with me (Saturday), I think we’ll be on the road to full recovery.”
Ramirez has also spoken with manager Joe Torre and general manager Ned Colletti by phone. But the outfielder was absent from Dodger Stadium again Sunday as his teammates wrapped up an 11-game homestand against San Francisco.
“He’s still beat up by this thing,” Torre said. “Again, it’s not that he feels it’s unfair, but he’s embarrassed and he still has to clear his head before he basically feels good enough to come out. Hopefully it’s in the near future, but we didn’t nail him down for a (specific) day.”
Before Sunday’s game, Colletti confirmed a report in the Los Angeles Times that he and McCourt had spoken to Ramirez, whose bat practically carried the Dodgers into last year’s playoffs and helped the club get off to a 21-8 start before the suspension.
CBS’ Feherty apologizes
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – CBS Sports golf analyst David Feherty apologized Sunday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a morbid joke that went bad in a Dallas magazine.
Feherty, one of the most popular golf analysts for his sharp wit and self-deprecating humor, was among five Dallas residents who wrote for “D Magazine” on former President George W. Bush moving to Dallas.
“From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though,” Feherty wrote toward the end of his column.
“Despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there’s a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death.”
Feherty, a former Ryder Cup player who grew up in Northern Ireland, has gone to Iraq over Thanksgiving the past two years to visit with U.S. troops, and he created a foundation to help wounded soldiers.
“This passage was a metaphor meant to describe how American troops felt about our 43rd president,” Feherty said in a statement. “In retrospect, it was inappropriate and unacceptable, and has clearly insulted Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, and for that, I apologize.
“As for our troops, they know I will continue to do as much as I can for them both at home and abroad.”
HS hoops may use replay
INDIANAPOLIS – Instant replay has been approved starting next season for last-second shots in high school basketball championship games.
The rule change by the National Federation of State High School Associations allows replay for review of a shot attempt at the end of the fourth quarter or overtime, and only when the last-second shot would affect the outcome of the game.
The rule is not mandatory and leaves the decision whether to use it to each state association.
“When available, technology should be used to assist game officials and administrators in making the correct call when the outcome of the game hangs in the balance and a team has no further opportunity to overcome a critical error,” said Mary Struckhoff, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the basketball rules committee. “This change provides state associations that opportunity.”
The change would let officials determine whether the ball had left the shooter’s hand before time expired or whether the shot was a 2- or 3-pointer.
Approved by the federation at a recent meeting, the change was prompted by controversial finishes in 2008 championship games in South Carolina, Ohio and Michigan.
Another new rule will allow the use of a red light behind the backboard to signal the end of a quarter or overtime. If no red light is present, the audible timer’s signal will continue to be used.
The NFHS is the governing body for almost 19,000 high schools in the United States.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
Career on-base percentage by Todd Helton, the highest among current MLB players. Other leaders:
Albert Pujols .425
Manny Ramirez .412
Lance Berkman .411
Chipper Jones .408
Jason Giambi .407
Jim Thome .405
Bobby Abreu .404
Brian Giles .401
ON THIS DATE
1923: Setting several Pacific Coast League records, Pete Schneider of Vernon hits five homers and a double to drive in 14 runs in a 35-11 romp over Salt Lake City.
1992: Portland wins the highest-scoring playoff game in NBA history, 153-151 in double overtime against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals.
1994: The Phoenix Suns, down 20 points with 10 minutes to play, stage the biggest late-game comeback in NBA playoff history, beating the Houston Rockets 124-117 in overtime in the Western Conference semifinals.
UA vs. ASU HOOPS RECRUITING
Who got the better of the basketball recruiting battle between UA and ASU this year? The Wildcats got three ranked in the top 100, but ASU added five to their class.
Despite getting a late start, new UA coach Sean Miller landed three top-tier high school seniors for the 2009-10 recruiting class:
• Kyryl Natyazhko, C, 6-10, Ukraine, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (41st overall by Scout; 81st by Rivals)
• Kevin Parrom, G-F, 6-5, Bronx, N.Y., South Kent, Conn., High (74th by Scout; 122nd by Rivals)
ASU’s 2009 class probably turned out better than people expected. Rivals ranks Trent Lockett, Victor Rudd and Demetrius Walker among its Top 150. All three could contribute next season.
• Trent Lockett, G, 6-4, Minnetonka, Minn., Hopkins High (80th by Rivals)
• Ruslan Pateev, C, 6-11, Montverde (Fla.) Academy
• Victor Rudd, F, 6-7, Henderson, Nev., Findlay Prep (114th by Rivals)
• Brandon Thompson. G, 6-2, San Antonio, John Paul Stevens High
• Demetrius Walker, G, 6-4, Phoenix St. Mary’s High (115th by Rivals, 74th by ESPNU)
The Arizona Republic