Aramis Ramirez pulls out of WBC

Updated: February 25, 2006, 5:04 PM ET
Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez will not play for the Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, saying he's not yet ready to play all out.

 Aramis Ramirez
Ramirez

Ramirez, 28, was selected last month to play third base for the Caribbean nation after New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez decided to play for the United States in the inaugural tournament.

Ramirez, an All-Star last season, said Saturday that he told team officials from the Dominican Republic that he would not participate. Seattle's Adrian Beltre already had been named the team's starting third baseman.

"I feel good, but I don't think I'll be 100 percent to play," said Ramirez, who missed the final month of the 2005 season with a strained left quadriceps.

"If I'm not 100 percent, it makes no sense for me to go out there because everybody's going to play to win the games," he said. "It's a different game than what we play here [in spring training]. If you play here, you're trying to get ready for the season."

Ramirez worked on his conditioning during the offseason and reported to camp in good shape. He has been taking part in all of the Cubs drills and said he'd be ready to play a few innings once Cactus League games start.

The Cubs said they did not try to sway Ramirez about the WBC, but it's been clear they'd rather have him in Arizona so they could monitor his progress.

In 123 games last season, Ramirez batted .302 with 31 home runs and 92 RBI.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press