- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles are no longer interested in free agent slugger Manny Ramirez.

Dan Duquette, the Orioles vice president of baseball operations, told The Associated Press on Tuesday, “I don’t know that Manny Ramirez is a fit for our club right now.”

The 39-year-old Ramirez retired last season rather than serve a suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. He was suspended for 100 games, but the ban was trimmed to 50 games because he sat out nearly all of the 2011 season. The suspension would start with the first game he is eligible to play after signing with a club.

A week ago, Duquette said he had conducted exploratory talks with Ramirez’s agent. But Duquette also acknowledged that signing Ramirez would not come without risk.

“We’re still considering the composition of this club and some of the challenges of integrating a player like Manny into our ball club and market,” Duquette said at the time.

On Tuesday, it was evident that Duquette didn’t want Manny being Manny in Baltimore.

“It just doesn’t look like it’s a fit right now,” he said.

Ramirez has 555 career home runs, 1,831 RBIs and a .312 lifetime average. He’s also a 12-time All-Star.

But he comes with baggage. Ramirez was suspended for 50 games in 2009 for violating the league’s drug policy before being cited again last April during his first season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Duquette believes the Orioles have enough power in the lineup without Ramirez, who wouldn’t be eligible to play until sometime in May.

“Offensively, we have four hitters in our lineup who hit 20 home runs last year,” Duquette said, referring to Mark Reynolds (37 homers), J.J. Hardy (30), Adam Jones (25) and Matt Wieters (22). “Not many clubs have that.”


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