Manny Back At Dodger Stadium, Team Moves On

The team is 9-3 in its last dozen without the dreadlocked slugger.

It is news that Manny Ramirez was out taking batting practice at Dodger Stadium Monday, taking swings while the team was waiting out the rain in Colorado. The Dodgers are now about a third — 17 of 50 — games into Manny’s suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.

When Manny first sat, the Dodgers had a 6½ game lead in the division and proceeded to drop four of their next five. The hope was that the Dodgers would find a way to just hold on until Manny got back.

Instead, they started to thrive.

The Dodgers have gone 9-3 in their last dozen games and their lead in the National League West is now 7½ games. After yesterday’s 16-6 shellacking of Colorado, the Dodgers are actually scoring more runs per game with Ramirez out of the lineup than in it.

Juan Pierre is hitting .397 since Manny was forced to sit, giving the Dodgers more production out of an outfield spot than they were getting with him. Casey Blake is crushing the ball, in the last three weeks he has a .461 on-base percentage and .727 slugging percentage.

The Dodger offense does not look the same without Manny — the threat of the long ball certainly is diminished and guys like Andre Ethier are not seeing as many good pitches to hit. But the Dodgers are scoring runs, they are getting good pitching, they are winning games.

And that is the sign of a real championship caliber team.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us