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Manny Ramirez Pleads Not Guilty to Domestic Violence

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former All-Star slugger Manny Ramirez on Friday pleaded not guilty to domestic battery charges in Florida, WTVJ-TV reported.

Ramirez reportedly was not present at the arraignment in Fort Lauderdale, where his attorney entered the plea for him.

The former World Series MVP was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence/battery after allegedly hitting his wife during a dispute in September.

Despite proclaiming shortly after his Sept. 12 arrest that the case against him would be closed, the 39-year-old Ramirez was charged by the Broward County State Attorney's Office.

Ramirez had been ordered by a judge to stay away from his wife, Juliana Ramirez, who told police he hit her with an open hand during an argument at their home near Miami.

Juliana Ramirez claimed the blow caused her to hit her head on the headboard of the couple's bed, and reportedly showed injuries consistent with her story.

Ramirez retired from baseball earlier this year, leaving the Tampa Bay Rays after just five games following a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.

The Dominican-born ballplayer said last month he would be willing to serve the required 100-game suspension to achieve reinstatement to Major League Baseball.

Ramirez earned the 2004 World Series MVP after helping the Boston Red Sox to their first title since 1918. The career .312 hitter made 12 All-Star teams, and hit 555 home runs during his 19 seasons.