Dominicans still expecting Ramirez, Sosa

Updated: February 24, 2006, 7:51 PM ET
Associated Press

DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The Dominican Republic expects Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa to play in the World Baseball Classic, despite signs the stars might sit the tournament out.

The outfielders were included Friday on the Caribbean nation's preliminary 37-man roster, along with New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez, who said this week he will not pitch in the first round but might be available for the second.

"We have not talked with Manny or Sammy, but we are confident they will be with us," Dominican general manager Stanley Javier said Friday.

Ramirez is expected to report to the Boston Red Sox's camp on March 1, two days before the Dominican Republic is scheduled to open the tournament against Venezuela in Orlando, Fla. Sosa is considering retirement from baseball.

The Dominican lineup includes sluggers Vladimir Guerrero, Wily Mo Pena, David Ortiz and Miguel Tejada, and pitchers Bartolo Colon and Jose Acevedo.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press