Baseball In L.A. – and MORE!

Big trades!!   The Angels dealt for Mark Teixeira, a quiet power hitter and the Dodgers got that goofball, ‘Manny just being Manny’, Ramirez from Boston!!  Oh God!!!  Teixeira has always been a great clubhouse presence and Manny????
 
Bill Plaschke
August 1, 2008
He will arrive at Dodger Stadium today lugging 510 career home runs inside 510 pounds of baggage.

He will take his place in the middle of the Dodger batting order tonight as one of baseball’s biggest hitters and most baffling headaches.

 In the biggest late-season acquisition in club history, the Dodgers acquired left fielder Manny Ramirez on Thursday from the Boston Red Sox and Mars.

They are counting on him to carry them into October and beyond.

Just as soon as they can find him.

Three hours after the trade, Ned Colletti, Dodger general manager, was asked whether he had spoken to Ramirez.

"I left him a message," said Colletti.

Four hours after the trade, Dodger Manager Joe Torre was asked whether he had spoken to Ramirez.

"I left him a message," said Torre.

Days after the Angels grabbed the national sports spotlight by trading for quiet slugger Mark Teixeira, the Dodgers have thrown a massive counterpunch by acquiring a guy who is part Hollywood and part Dagwood.

A guy who occasionally swings like Babe Ruth and is consistently as nutty as a Baby Ruth.

The only thing that flops around more than his trademark dreadlocks are his moods.

Nobody in baseball history has hit more postseason homers — 24 — yet when the 2007 world champion Red Sox visited the White House, Ramirez didn’t show up.

"I guess his grandmother died again," President Bush said at the time. "Just kidding."

Perhaps nobody in baseball history has performed better in a more pressure-filled World Series, as he was the MVP of the 2004 Series that broke the Red Sox’s 86-year title drought.

Yet a couple of weeks ago, during a sixth-inning pitching change at Fenway Park, he momentarily departed left field to make a cellphone call.

The Red Sox have long shrugged off such behavior as "Manny being Manny."

But recently, with Ramirez ripping club executives in preparation for his probable departure as a free agent this winter, the Red Sox finally decided Manny could be Manny somewhere else.

Officially, the Dodgers acquired Ramirez in a three-team trade that cost them third-base prospect Andy LaRoche and pitcher Bryan Morris, who worked in class-A.

Unofficially, it doesn’t take a Laker fan to understand that they were given a gift the size of Pau Gasol.

Neither Dodger kid was considered a top prospect,

and the Red Sox agreed to pay the remainder of Ramirez’s $21-million annual salary, about $7 million.

 
  • Dodgers get Manny Ramirez from Red Sox

     

  • Manny Ramirez through the years

     

"It’s crazy," said Torre. "This is a huge ‘get’ for us."

It is actually two "gets" for the price of none.

They do not have to pay someone who immediately becomes their best hitter. And, because of his impending free agency, they are not obligated to tolerate his nutty behavior beyond this season.

He is probably here only for two months, but with a swing that is as unshakable as his smile, he is capable of carrying the Dodgers every day of those two months.

"Three months," corrected Dodger owner Frank McCourt, adding a month for the playoffs and World Series. "We’re going to have a great three months of baseball."

It was Boston native McCourt who pushed for this deal Thursday morning, just hours before the trading deadline, when he realized that the Red Sox were truly serious about dealing their recurring headache.

In the weak National League West, one hitter could elevate his pitching-rich team to the top. And amid the inexperienced National League teams that will make the playoffs, one hitter could provide the postseason difference.

Ramirez, even at age 36, is still clearly that hitter, leading the Red Sox with 20 home runs and ranking second with 68 RBIs at the time of the trade.

"This team has hung in there all season with all these injuries. This is about giving them a chance to go for it," said McCourt. "This is about paying back our loyal fans and rewarding our hard-working team."

The fans will get it, and were already loudly cheering just the scoreboard announcement of the trade Thursday night.

The clubhouse may be a more difficult sell, particularly because Ramirez not only creates distractions, but a total of five potential starting outfielders.

"This is why we have a guy like Joe Torre as manager," said McCourt.

Indeed, other than the Red Sox’s Terry Francona, probably the only other current major league manager who can handle Ramirez is Torre, who constantly dealt with wacky late-season acquisitions with the New York Yankees.

Torre, who was constantly haunted by Ramirez during the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry, said, "It’s funny, but I did everything I could not to have to see him again, and all of a sudden he’s showing up in the uniform I’m wearing."

He smiled. "It’s pretty special."

Pretty strange. Pretty, yeah, pretty special.

 
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Neighborhood news!
 
My nextdoor neighbor Charlotte (AKA: Crazy Lady) was in her yard this afternoon in her housecoat and slippers watering her lawn.  Do you think she would water her little piece of dirt between our yards??  NOOOO!!!!  I tried to take a photo of her (she just had her hair done!!) but the dirty looks chased me away!!  I came back and had the perfect shot!!!!!  But when I turned on my camera??   ‘Memory Card Full’!!  DOOOH!
 
Soooo.
 
Off to Wal-Mart!!  Yikers!!  On a Friday!!  It was a madhouse!!!  WAY too many freaks there!!  Picked up the memory card (2gB!!) and a few other items and made my way to the checkout line.  As my stuff was being checked, some woman stole my cart!!!   LOL!!  This is why I hate shopping!!
 
Oh yeah!!  As I approached the door, some homeless woman (they seem to be attracted to me!!) asked for change.  Me being me, I gave her what I had.  But as I left she tried to hit me up two more times!!  Her response was, "OH!!  I didn’t recognize you!"  Three times in 30 minutes??
 
Anyhow, I am out of WalMart  for as long as I can be!  (I buy memory cards, dog treats and underwear there!!). 
 
This WalMart sits on a location where one of the last Drive-In theatres in So Cal was!!  Darn it!!  We loved that theatre!!  A few beers and a pizza, clean the windshield??  Good to go!!  Darn WalMart!!!
 
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LOVE!!!!!  This song!!!!   And then on to George Strait Weekend!!!!!!
 
Have a GREAT one!!!!!!
 
 
 
 
 

 

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5 Responses to Baseball In L.A. – and MORE!

  1. Joe says:

    You always get me rolling, you bat with a pretty good record on your blogs in my opinion.  I smile at your references to Walmart, I feel the same way about it.  We’ve got two in town…the West End is worse for weirdos though I can’t say why.  Some days its appears to be trailer trash specials on others gang banger sales…you just never know.  Just getting to and from your car can be an interesting experience.  Sad you missed your camera shot of your neighbor but you might have gotten sued over it anyway, I’ve heard of stanger things happening.  Take it easy my friend.

  2. Beth says:

    You crack me up Bob.  You are so full of life it is amazing.  Don’t ever change.

  3. DANA says:

    I went to Walmart today too. It was full of what I would call ‘circus people’. People you can’t even imagine existed in real life. I don’t like going on the first of the month cuz it’s the worst then. If they pulled 10 people randomly from one side of the store it would be freak fest at the circus. I’m not kidding. Of course I was there too… hmmm crap.

  4. Steve says:

    Sorry I have not seen you for a while, long while. sound that you are doing well.  I see the homeless all the time in town/columbia, MO.  I too feel that they are looking just for me. 

  5. Jess says:

    Ok, I’ll admit I didn’t read any of the baseball stuff…sorry it’s just not my thing lmfao.
     
    What’s weird though is in Topeka (where we used to live) they put a Walmart where our last drive in was ! They still have the sign there, like it makes it ok ? Anyway, there is a country song about putting a Walmart where the drive in used to be !

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