Torre and Colletti said they didn't learn of the situation until owner Frank McCourt called them after midnight the previous night. Asked by The Times after Wednesday night's game whether they had heard that Ramirez was about to be suspended, Torre and Colletti denied knowing anything.
A source close to Ramirez said Ramirez's agent had informed Torre of the matter before Wednesday's game, a claim the manager denied. Ramirez was taken out of the lopsided game in the seventh inning and wasn't in the locker room when reporters came in.
Until Torre and Colletti addressed reporters at the 4:30 p.m. news conference, the Dodgers limited their comments on the matter to a short statement by McCourt's wife that was e-mailed to reporters.
At 3:10 p.m., a sign was posted on the door of the Dodgers' clubhouse that read, "Clubhouse closed."
Inside, the Dodgers held a team meeting.
"It was somber," right fielder Andre Ethier said.
Players said they were surprised to learn that Ramirez had flunked a drug test -- to a certain extent.
"It's to the point where nothing shocks you," Doug Mientkiewicz said.
Last week, Mientkiewicz answered questions regarding steroid allegations involving his former high school teammate, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, the game's highest-paid player, acknowledged during a February news conference that he used steroids from 2001 to 2003. The admission followed a Sports Illustrated report that he failed a drug test in 2003, when players were not subject to suspension.
Torre said Ramirez's standing in the game shouldn't be affected.
"It doesn't change my view of his accomplishments as a player," Torre said. "What I learned is how hard he works. He spends a lot of time practicing his trade."
Nationals first base coach Marquis Grissom, who played with Ramirez in Cleveland in 1997, shared the same view.
"He's been great since the first time I laid eyes on him," Grissom said, adding that Ramirez "no doubt" belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Torre said he reminded his players they'd have to win without Ramirez.
"This is a man's game," Torre said.
"This is a team," Mientkiewicz said. "This isn't the Los Angeles Mannys."
Ethier said it would be important for the players to not try too hard to compensate for Ramirez's absence.
"I think if we put too much of a chip on our shoulders, we could start pressing," said Ethier, who inherited Ramirez's role as the No. 3 hitter.
First baseman James Loney said he wanted to see Ramirez back in the clubhouse. While serving his suspension, Ramirez can work out with the team but must be out of uniform by the start of the game.
Torre said Ramirez wanted to clear his mind before deciding where he would prepare himself for his return. Ramirez was planning to return to his home in Miami for at least a few days, according to a source in his camp.
Also uncertain was whether the Dodgers would use the money saved on Ramirez during his suspension to sign a free-agent pitcher such as Pedro Martinez, Ben Sheets or Paul Byrd. Because Ramirez agreed to be paid only $10 million this season -- the other $15 million was to be deferred -- the Dodgers are saving just $3.1 million this year. Ramirez can exercise a $20-million option for 2010.
Times staff writers Bill Shaikin and Lance Pugmire contributed to this report.