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Mets don't want Manny

| Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009

NEW YORK -- Mets fans who are dreaming of seeing Manny Ramirez's big bat in the team's lineup this season got a cold splash of reality from Jeff Wilpon.

Wilpon, the team's chief operating officer, said that general manager Omar Minaya is not interested in signing the free-agent slugger.

"I know the perception out there again is that ownership said no," Wilpon said. "I don't have the opportunity to say no because Omar hasn't brought it to me as an option. Omar and the baseball staff aren't interested."

Sheets meets Rangers again

Free agent right-hander Ben Sheets met again this week with the Texas Rangers, the team that plays not far from his Dallas home.

"It was part of doing our due diligence," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Just continued dialogue, really."

Sheets also met with Daniels at the winter meetings last month. Daniels wouldn't say whether the Rangers have made a formal offer to Sheets.

Nats go easy on fans

The Washington Nationals are offering an installment plan for fans to buy tickets, allowing fans to pay off their season tickets in monthly installments on their credit cards over six months.

Last year, the team ranked 13th in the National League and 19th in the major leagues in attendance in its inaugural season in its new ballpark.

> Canseco to box Bonaduce

Jose Canseco might want to dust off that muscled-up "Bash Brother" moniker one more time tonight when he enters the boxing ring Saturday night for a celebrity match against child star-turned-radio host Danny Bonaduce.

Canseco admitted, though, that if a boxing promoter wanted to cash in on Canseco's willingness to name the names of alleged steroid abusers like himself, maybe the next opponent should be a ballplayer.

"There's a lot of people in Major League Baseball that want to punch me in the face," Canseco said.

Baldelli thanks Rays fans

Former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli, who is heading to Boston after he played in the World Series this season, took out a half-page ad in the St. Petersburg Times to express his gratitude this week.

"Nine years ago you welcomed me into your community. You greeted me as a name and embraced me as a person, and I leave you now as a friend," Baldelli said in the handwritten ad, which appeared in Wednesday's editions.

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