It was all hugs and kisses for the L.A. Dodgers on Friday and it wasn’t because they were playing the struggling Marlins.
Slugger Manny Ramirez met with his teammates for the first time since he was suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy, but he was greeted like a long-lost relative.
"He knows he made a mistake. I forgive him," third baseman Casey Blake said. "It's his business."
The 10-minute meeting took place at the Dodger’s waterfront hotel in South Florida before they arrived at Landshark stadium to start a three-game weekend series with the Fish.Ramirez, who lives near the stadium, apologized for his actions then sat back and took in the love.
ESPN reported Ramirez got a really big hug from second baseman Orlando Hudson.
"It was uncomfortable. I'll give you that," said manager Joe Torre.
All the hugging or the apology?
Ramirez was suspended on May 7. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt met with him twice last weekend in Los Angeles and encouraged Ramirez to apologize to teammates "eyeball to eyeball."
"I don't think anyone was really looking for an apology,” Blake said. "It was something he wanted to do and I think it was heartfelt."