Still, the team just looks happy! Watch them after a huge hit or home run – they’re like little kids, jumping around in the dugout. I really think that a lot of the credit for this goes to Manny Ramirez, but I’ll have more on Manny later in the weekend. In the meantime, let’s keep the streak alive and LET”S GO DODGERS!!!!!
Watching the Phillies complete the series sweep against the Dodgers last night (nationally televised, no less) I did a double-take. Sure, I knew Manny Ramirez hadn’t delivered an RBI for the Dodgers in the previous six outings and that Dodger hitting was in a slump overall, but I really believed that they were all trying. And then…I saw a shot hit to the left field corner and Manny Ramirez jogging…yes JOGGING to go get it.
Not only have the Dodgers slid back into pre-Manny form, it appears that Manny has also slid back into pre-Dodgers form.
Even Torre commented on the phenomenon, calling Ramirez “tired”.
Now, all of the Dodgers woes can’t be placed at the feet of Manny Ramirez. Nor can Manny take credit for all of L.A.’s success since his arrival. However, Manny does seem to be a pretty reliable barometer of the team’s current and future performance. That barometer is currently pointing toward failure as the Dodgers approach a crucial series in Arizona against the first-place NL West D-backs.
Not all is lost, however. Basides the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers won’t play an above-.500 team. Perhaps the less-mediocre team will carry the day. The Dodgers are only 65-55 with 31 games left after all
In an interview with ESPNdeportes.com, was quoted as saying he feels “comfortable” in L.A., that he finally has peace of mind after his tumultuous years with the Red Sox, and that he thinks the Dodgers brought him in to play his final seasons on the West Coast (according to an article in The Sporting News)
“I like this city, the environment, the energy in the fans. I think that I’ll play here for the remainder of my career,” Ramirez was quoted as saying.
He added, though, that no contract discussions have taken place.
No Doubt Dodger fans would enjoy seeing more of Manny after this season, as he’s already had an immediate impact on the team – particularly helpful this past series against the D-Backs who are leading the NL West. In his first three games, Ramirez was 8 for 13 with five RBIs. On Sunday, the 12-time All-Star went 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBI as the Dodgers beat Arizona 9-3.
There is definitely electricity in the stands as well. Over 125,000 jerseys bearing Ramirez’s name and number 99 have been sold already and the next home stand will feature brown and blue dreadlocks for sale at souvenir stands. Chants of “Manny, Manny!” are everywhere and Ramirez gets cheers for every at-bat – even if he strikes out.
So regardless of whether Manny retires as a Dodger or not, the fun is definitely back at Dodger Stadium and so is the talk of a division run – and this time I’m not a skeptic.
Wow. Seriously, is there a better way word to describe this deal? Maybe unfathomable. Unbelievable. Extraordinary. Am I dreaming? Did the Dodgers really get Manny Friggin’ Ramirez for Andy LaRoche and a 21 year-old Class A minor league pitcher that’s already been through Tommy John surgery? Did I mention that the Red Sox are also reportedly picking up Manny’s salary? That’s like the bow on top of this gift from Theo Epstein. I was working at the X Games today, and my phone was ringing off the hook as fellow Dodger fans called to celebrate the news. Congrats to SI’s John Donovan for breaking the news.
Read my comments on an earlier Manny Ramirez post from Alex earlier today, and I was critical of adding Manny to the Dodgers for fear of the cost of what we’d have to give up as well as what might happen behind the clubhouse walls. I never imagined that we would get possibly the greatest hitter of his generation for practically nothing. Two months of Manny while in a tight pennant race is just too good to pass up, even if he’s just average. Plus, you have to remember that Manny’s teammates have loved the guy a great majority of the time. It’s the media and the front office that usually have the problem with him (and for extremely valid reasons, I might add). But the Dodgers know it’s just for two months, and Manny’s in a contract year, so he’ll be on his best behavior. Congratualtions Ned. I never thought you had this in you!
A few thoughts on “The Trade” from Dodger executives, the media and our fellow bloggers:
- From Tim Kurkjian (ESPN): “Three potential Hall of Famers were traded within 24 hours (Ramirez, Griffey Jr. and Ivan Rodriguez. The last time this happened was 1966 when Robin Roberts, Orlando Hernandez and Fergie Jenkins were moved…and that was over the course of several months.”
- From a giddy Frank McCourt: “He (Ramirez) is an elite athlete. As close as you can come to being an artist of the game….Certainly a baseball classic.”
- Understatement of the year from Joe Torre: “Manny in the middle of the lineup will certainly get people’s attention.”
- From Dodger Thoughts (the blog of all Dodger blogs): “If Ramirez replaces Pierre/Jones in the lineup, this deal makes the Dodgers a more serious contender to finish over .500 in 2008. (I kid! I think they can do even better.) It weakens the Dodgers beyond 2008, but honestly, there’s time enough to solve that.”
- From the good folks over at the Sons of Steve Garvey: “The right personnel on the field does not include Andruw Jones or Juan Pierre–BOTH OF WHOM ARE STARTING TONIGHT in what I hope is to allow the obligatory “farewell waves to the crowd” for at least one of those players. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp simply cannot ride the pine if we hope to make a run.”
This last quote from “Steve Sax” really says it all. This move has got to mean that Jones has earned a permanent spot on the bench. The man is a strikeout machine and it’s becoming abundantly clear that Andruw has lost his mojo. Permanently.
ESPN reported that Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez has agreed to a trade to the Florida Marlins if the two teams can agree on the other players in a deal.
Florida’s making a run! They already picked up M’s reliever (and winner of the title “Reliever Most Likely to be Traded at the Deadline”) Arthur Rhodes earlier in the day.