Rain delay keeps Manny out of lineup

Rain delay keeps Manny out of lineup

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Suspended Dodgers star Manny Ramirez's brief stay with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes was even shorter than expected.

After a prolonged rain delay Thursday, Ramirez left Isotopes Stadium about 7:45 p.m. MT. Without answering any questions, he took off in a white Nissan flanked by several Dodgers officials.

"No thank you," Ramirez said in response to an interview request.

"The Dodgers have decided Manny Ramirez will not play in tonight's game because of weather and field conditions," Isotopes management said in a prepared statement.

Ramirez was expected to play three games in Albuquerque as he prepares for his return from a 50-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball's drug policy.

Ramirez was replaced in the lineup by Jovanny Rosario, who is from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the same town as Ramirez.

Ramirez was even less communicative earlier Thursday, asking Isotopes officials to clear the media from the clubhouse, then refusing to enter the area during the 30 minutes it was open following batting practice.

His bat spoke fairly loudly, however, at least during batting practice. He sent liners around the stadium, and parked a ball to each field with towering drives that jumped off his bat.

The official line for Ramirez was four at-bats in two games. He struck out swinging once, bounced out to shortstop twice and drew a four-pitch walk.

"He was trying to see pitches more than anything," Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach said. "He looked at some pitches that he otherwise might have swung at. He wanted the opportunity to see as many pitches as possible."

Ramirez is still expected to leave for California on Friday in preparation for a probable four-game stint with Class A Lake Elsinore, said Josh Rawitch, the Dodgers' vice president of communications. Ramirez is eligible to return to the Dodgers on July 3 when they face San Diego.

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