Notes on the Dodgers -August 5, 2008-

The arrival of Manny Ramirez has given a spark to the offense of the Dodgers. You can even feel that the other players are much more relaxed (ok maybe not Andruw Jones) From the Ken Gurnick’s article…

“He’s kind of brought a new life to our team,” said All-Star catcher Russell Martin. “Everybody is kind of a little bit looser, having more fun, and we just know we’re going to put runs on the board with him in the lineup.” Chad Billingsley said “When we added him, just L.A. and all the
MannyRamirez1.jpgfans, and you just felt the excitement in the air,It gives us a spark. That’s what it’ll take to maybe get us deep into the playoffs, so obviously having him in the lineup changes how the opposing teams approach us. He just makes us better all around.”

I agree. I believe we can win the West Division. We need to fix our crowded outfield and play the best players at the moment. I would prefer a Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp outfield. Speaking about the crowded outfield, you have to like Ethier’s attitude about him being on the bench. From Tony Jackson’s article.

“We have worked hard these first few months to get into a situation where we can go where we want to go,” Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier said. “You have to focus on that and put all the individual stuff aside.”

Awesome. Ethier knows it’s going to be hard to start but he will be ready to come off the bench anytime during a game. I respect that. He has been playing solid baseball the whole year and deserved to be playing but with Ramirez coming and Kemp
AndreEthier1.jpgbeing on fire, he has to be patient. I only wish Joe Torre would understand that Juan Pierre is not the answer to start everyday. From Torre…

“To me, Juan certainly deserves to play,” Torre said. “Juan, for me, will play the bulk of the time. That is taking nothing away from Ethier, but Matty right now is impressive for me in how he goes about his business. Somebody is going to have to sit, but it won’t happen all the time. We have to play the (backup) guys now and again just to make sure they get action.”

Ok I agree that Kemp is impressive. Why not play him along Ramirez and Ethier ! You start Kemp leadoff and Pierre in the bench. I believe Torre wants a true “leadoff hitter” so he wants Pierre there. I only hope that Rafael Furcal comes back soon and he can be the leadoff hitter and Pierre on the bench. Furcal was with the Dodgers over the weekend and told the reporters:

“I feel a lot better than before,” said Furcal, injured since May 6 after the best April of his career. “It doesn’t bother me anymore.”

While Ethier seems to be going along with the game planJuanPierre.jpg, Pierre feels the Dodgers are “sticking to him this year” He told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:

“All I’ve ever done was be Juan Pierre,” he said. “I don’t know why, for some reason, they’re just sticking it to me this year. I applaud the move. Any time you get a chance to get Manny Ramirez, you get him. But from a personal standpoint, it’s putting me in a tough position.”

I disagree Juan. The Dodgers are not “sticking it” to you. You are basically not getting on base enough. That’s the point. Anyways, with all the Manny-Mania, let me write about his Jersey number. From Fox Sports…

By now, it is well-known that he’ll wear the number 99. It’s a nice number, distinctive and goofy, and previously worn by such luminaries as Mitch Williams, Turk Wendell and Wayne

WayneGretzky99.jpgGretzky. (“I don’t know anything about hockey, sir,” he said. “They don’t have hockey in the Dominican.”) But 99 was not Ramirez’ his first choice.

“I wanted 34, but I guess it’s not available,” he said.

In fact, he wanted 24, the number he wore with the Red Sox, but that number has long since been retired in honor of Walter Alston. Thirty-four, it should be added, was worn by the Los Angeles icon Fernando Valenzuela.

“It’s not retired,” said Dodgers equipment manager Mitch Poole. “But it’s in our heart.”

That statement is a little odd. # 34 is not retired but no one can use it ? I know the Dodgers have a rule that in order to have your # retired you have to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, except for special circumstances like Jim Gilliam. He isn’t a Hall of Famer but his # 19 was retired. Well shouldn’t # 34 be retired ? I know Fernando Valenzuela is not a Hall of Famer but with everything that he did for the Dodgers and the Hispanic community I think he deserves to have his number retired. Back to Ramirez, I believe all this hype about his number will give a boost for Dodger sales this year. Last Friday, I saw many fans already wearing t-shirts with the number # 99


manny1.jpg 

Click it Manny habla español

“Oye tu sabes que soy loco por la comida mexicana” 

“Tu sabes, en Boston y Los Angeles siempre tuve el apoyo con los latinos y me siento en casa”

“Dime papi…..no papi porque tu sabes lo que hice, porque yo compre el navigator que yo me lo pongo y tu sabes..y me muevo…”

“Tu sabes lo que estaba pensando, la novela mia, la voy a vender y pedirle que no hagan annuncios”

Funny guy :)  

 

Peace! 

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