Manny Does His Part For The Dodgers
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Manny being Manny was enough to help propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to the National League West title and a first-round sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs.

With 526 career home runs, Manny Ramirez did his best to keep his team afloat in the NL Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“When I go to any city, I don’t worry about the wind or the field. I just want to go out there and have some fun,” said Ramirez. “It is not going to be the end of the world. We are just going to go out and play baseball.”

Ramirez was hitting .500 after the first three games of the best-of-seven NLCS that saw the Phillies lead 3 games to 1.

“Like I always say, we are blessed to be in this situation. Not everybody gets a chance to play in the playoffs during their career. Why not go out and enjoy it and forget about the little things,” said Ramirez.

During the regular season, Ramirez batted .321 with 37 homers and 121 RBIs.

“The whole thing is to get into the (playoff) dance. Anything can happen,” he said.

Ramirez was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers on July 31, 2008, in a three-way deal. The Red Sox acquired outfielder Jason Bay and minor league infielder Josh Wilson and the Pittsburgh Pirates got infielder Andy LaRoche and pitching prospect Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, and outfielder Brandon Moss and pitcher Craig Hansen from the Red Sox.

He hit his first home run with the Dodgers on Aug. 2, in a game against the Diamondbacks. He was named the National League Player of the Month for August. He hit .415 (44-for-106) with seven doubles, nine home runs, 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored during the month. He finished the season with the Dodgers hitting a .396 batting average, 17 home runs, and 53 RBI.[

“I always say that I am on vacation. I don’t know if I am going to be here next year. I don’t have anything to lose. I just want to have fun and play the game and move on,” he said.

Playing for legendary manager Joe Torre has been quite an experience for the free-wheeling Ramirez.

“Torre only has two rules: play hard and be on time. He has been great. I am blessed to be here. Like they say, good players win games, teams win championships.”

In 2007, Ramirez released a 500 Home Run Club charity wine called Manny Being Merlot with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting The CHARLEE Program, providing therapeutic, residential, and supportive services to abused, abandoned, and neglected children. His effort raised more than $100,000.!Technorati!Newsvine!Blogmarks!Yahoo!