- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

From combined dispatches

Manny Ramirez’s spring training debut was pushed back at least one more day.

The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger was scratched from Thursday’s exhibition game against South Korea in Phoenix because of tightness in his left hamstring. Ramirez said he could have played, but manager Joe Torre decided to give him the day off.

“It’s going to get better, so I’m not worried about it,” said Ramirez, who had been in the lineup as a designated hitter. “I’m not disappointed. You’ve got plenty of time to get ready. That’s in my favor, so I’m going to take it day by day.”

Ramirez also seemed unconcerned about criticism from former Boston teammate Jonathan Papelbon, who in the April issue of Esquire compared Ramirez to cancer. The Red Sox closer said Boston made the right decision when it traded Ramirez to the Dodgers last summer.

“He was on a different train! And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him,” Papelbon was quoted as saying in a story posted on Esquire’s Web site.

Ramirez shrugged off Papelbon’s comments.

“That’s fine, that’s fine,” Ramirez said. “I’ve already moved on with my life. Like I said, I wish everybody the best. I’m in L.A. now.”

RAYS: Outfielder Fernando Perez will be sidelined at least three months after dislocating his left wrist in a game against the Blue Jays.

Perez was injured Tuesday while diving in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a line-drive hit by Toronto’s Travis Snider. The diagnosis was not confirmed until Thursday.

CUBS: Carlos Zambrano was selected to make his fifth straight Opening Day start for Chicago.

Manager Lou Piniella said he picked Zambrano over Ryan Dempster for the April 6 start against Houston after discussing the choice with pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

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