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Furcal, Dodgers eager to see Manny

Furcal, Dodgers eager to see Manny

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PHILADELPHIA -- Several days ago, Rafael Furcal's cell phone rang.

On the other line was Manny Ramirez.

"He called to help me with my swing," Furcal said after the Dodgers' 5-3 win over the Phillies in 10 innings Thursday. "He gave me some pointers on how to improve it."

Furcal said that Ramirez called Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota, too.

How did the veteran slugger sound?

"He seemed OK," Furcal said. "He was maybe a little down, but we're behind him."

Ramirez has served seven games of his 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy. He did not travel to Philadelphia, but there is speculation he could rejoin his teammates for this weekend's series against the Marlins in Miami.

"There's a chance," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said before Thursday's game. "We haven't been given any definitive information. And when I've spoken to Manny, I've gotten the same drift. He's really beaten up over this. He's embarrassed. I think it's going to take him time to clear his head. We want to see him as a team. The players are here and they're supporting him. But right now, he's not ready for it."

Ramirez has yet to meet with the team or coaching staff since being suspended one week ago. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Ramirez met with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt over the weekend and that he had spoken to Torre and general manager Ned Colletti on the telephone.

Whenever Ramirez decides to catch up with his teammates, they plan to welcome him in a big way.

"We all support him because he's our teammate," Furcal said. "I didn't ask him anything about what happened. I was happy he called. He gave me some help with my swing."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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