Notes: Hanley visits clubhouse

Notes: Hanley visits clubhouse

BOSTON -- With the Portland Sea Dogs having an off-day on Monday, top prospect Hanley Ramirez took a road trip to the place he hopes is his future office.

There Ramirez was in the Red Sox clubhouse at Fenway Park, mingling with David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Renteria and others.

The purpose of his visit to Fenway with Portland teammate Raul Nieves?

"We just came to watch the game," said the 21-year-old Ramirez. "Watch and learn."

At the same time, Ramirez was teasing himself a little bit by temporarily inhabiting the clubhouse he wants to have permanent residence in.

"It makes me excited right now," Ramirez said. "I want to stay here right now, I don't want to go back."

And on this day, the clubhouse had a little bit of extra buzz, the music booming and everyone in a good mood with the Red Sox coming off a 6-0 road trip, their most impressive journey since they went 9-0 on a 1977 West Coast trip.

Ramirez, who is hitting .269 with two homers and 22 RBIs at Portland, looked to be soaking it all in.

Be it offense or defense, Ramirez is searching for the same thing -- more consistency.

Of his defense, Ramirez noted that he's trying to pay more attention to detail.

And his offense?

"Take the same swing on every pitch and be consistent," he said.

Ramirez formed an obvious bond with Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Renteria during his weeks of Spring Training with the Red Sox.

Ortiz was being protective of Ramirez as the media swooped in Monday.

"Hey, the guy is only visiting today," Ortiz said light-heartedly. "Take it easy on the kid, come on."

At the request of a reporter, Ortiz returned Ramirez for a few more questions.

Ramirez enjoys absorbing whatever he can from those who are currently living his dream.

"They've been around the big leagues a long time and they know what happens up there and they can teach me," said Ramirez.

Now Ramirez eagerly awaits the day he can put those lessons to use at the highest level.

Renteria is fine: Don't be alarmed by the precautionary day off Red Sox manager Terry Francona gave Renteria on Sunday. Though Renteria has been hampered a tad by a sore left wrist, Francona says that the ailment is becoming less of an issue by the day.

"I kind of talked him into that day off," Francona said. "In fact, he's a lot better than he was last week and he played all last week. He's been swinging it better now than he was before."

All-Star prep mode: Though Francona, the manager of the American League All-Star team, only has a say in five reserve slots (four of which are pitchers), it is a responsibility he is taking very seriously.

"I've touched base with every manager, either through voicemail or I've actually talked to them," said Francona. "We've already been ranking players and talking to Phyllis [Merghige from Major League Baseball] and paying attention to injuries. We've got our eye on things."

Francona again reiterated that he will give strong consideration to deserving setup men, a list that includes, among others, Mike Timlin (Red Sox), Jesse Crain (Twins) and Arthur Rhodes (Indians).

Location, location: Though Matt Mantei hasn't quite performed up to expectations in his first year with the Red Sox, Francona still has confidence in the hard-throwing right-hander.

"If he commands on a consistent basis, you're going to see him get a lot of outs because he's still nasty," said Francona. "On the flip side, if he doesn't command ..."

On deck: Right-hander Wade Miller (2-2, 4.83 ERA) faces off against left-hander Cliff Lee (8-3, 3.28 ERA) in Tuesday night's contest, the second of a three-game series.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.