FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Manny Ramirez reported to Red Sox training camp Monday morning, three days ahead of his anticipated arrival but four days after Boston's first full workout.
The team had given the slugging left fielder permission to report Thursday, the day after its first exhibition game, for family reasons. His mother underwent surgery recently.
But Ramirez emerged from the trainer's room and sat down at his locker at 8:54 am. Monday.
"Please move," he told a reporter politely. "I need some space."
He smiled and chatted in Spanish with teammates and unloaded boxes of baseball shoes from a carton, then put on his baseball pants. He was at the camp to take his team physical and started hitting in the batting cage at about 9:15 a.m.
"What's going on here?" catcher Doug Mirabelli said when he saw 15 reporters clustered near Ramirez's locker. Then, Mirabelli saw Ramirez and said, "whoa!"
Reliever Julian Tavarez, one of Ramirez's closest friends on the team, saw his hairdo -- black braids with a few red ones mixed in. Tavarez yelled across the room to assistant equipment manager Edward "Pookie" Jackson.
"Pookie, Manny doesn't have running shoes and he doesn't have spikes either. Can you help him out?" Tavarez said, "and get him $10 so he can pay for his haircut."
Ramirez is scheduled to make $18 million this season, the next to last of an eight-year, $160 million contract.
The collective bargaining agreement gives teams the right to penalize players who report after Tuesday, but general manager Theo Epstein said last week that the team hadn't planned to discipline Ramirez.
The team's first full squad workout was last Thursday, when Epstein held out hope that Ramirez would report to camp sooner than March 1.
"It's not the biggest deal in the world, provided he's here March 1, or even earlier if his mother's situation resolves itself," Epstein said last Thursday.
Ramirez has complained about a lack of privacy, requested trades and been placed on waivers with no takers. In the last six weeks of last season, he played in just 11 games, raising speculation that he wasn't badly hurt. The team said he had tendinitis in his right knee.
Ramirez's agent, Greg Genske, was at camp Monday and said Ramirez is healthy.
"He has a green light. He's healthy. He's ready to go," Genske said after Ramirez's physical.
Genske said he has had no recent talks with the Red Sox about "trades or anything like that."
Ramirez batted .321 with 34 homers and 102 RBIs in 130 games last season. In his career with Boston, he is hitting .316 with averages of 39 homers and 119 RBIs.