- Associated Press - Friday, October 14, 2011

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (AP) - Former baseball star Manny Ramirez has pleaded not guilty to a domestic battery charge involving his wife.

Ramirez’s attorney filed the written plea ahead of Friday’s scheduled arraignment. Ramirez did not appear at the hearing. He is free on $2,500 bail.

The 2004 World Series MVP was arrested Sept. 12. His wife told investigators Ramirez slapped her, causing her head to strike a bed headboard. Ramirez has denied slapping her.

Ramirez helped lead the Boston Red Sox to the 2004 championship, ending an 86-year drought for the franchise. He also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.

He retired in April from the Tampa Bay Rays rather than serve a 100-game suspension after testing positive a second time for a performance-enhancing substance.

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