2010 to be Manny’s last season with Dodgers?

It appears that Mannywood will be closing after the 2010 MLB season.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“I know I’m not going to be here next year,” Ramirez said.

So you don’t think you will re-sign with Dodgers?

“I doubt it, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m happy to be here. I’m going to try to enjoy myself.”

Asked what made him think he wouldn’t be in Los Angeles in 2011, Ramirez replied, “I don’t know. I just know that I’m not going to be here.”

Did he see himself moving to the American League?

“I don’t know,” Ramirez said. “We’ll see. Let’s take it a day at a time.”

Ramirez said he wasn’t even certain if he wanted to play next season.

“I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know about today, so….” he said. “When the season is over, I want to see where I’m at. If I play, I play. If they let me play, I play.”

The Dodgers have cause for concern about these comments. Ramirez’s play diminished in Boston right before he was traded in 2008 because he checked out mentally. If he isn’t motivated, he has no problem going through the motions on the field.

That said, if he wants a contract with another team next season, he’d better play hard in 2010. The Dodgers were essentially the only team that was willing to offer him a contract last offseason, so Manny (and Scott Boras for that matter) better be willing to take one-year offers from here on out. That is, if Man-Ram doesn’t retire after the season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Manny exercises option, will return to Dodgers

According to a report by SI.com, Manny Ramirez exercised his $20 million contract option for 2010 and will return to the Dodgers.

The team said Friday that the slugger exercised his $20 million contract option for 2010. His agent Scott Boras informed Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti of the decision.

Ramirez hit .290 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs in 104 regular season games. He missed 50 games while suspended for violating baseball’s drug policy.

In the NL division series against St. Louis, Ramirez batted .308 with no homers and two RBI. Against Philadelphia in the NL championship series, he hit .263 with one homer and two RBI.

Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers from Boston in July 2008.

Thank God. I don’t know if I could have gone another offseason talking about Man-Ram and his ongoing contract negotiations. Just thinking about it gives me a migraine.

Maybe this year he won’t get busted for using women’s fertility drugs in spring training. Hi-yo!

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Manny activated, will be in starting lineup

Manny Ramirez has officially severed his 50 game suspension for testing positive for a PED-related substance and is expected to be in the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight when L.A. takes on the Padres in San Diego.

Besides seeing how he does at the plate, what’ll be interesting to watch unfold over the next week or two is what kind of an effect Manny will have on the Dodgers. During his suspension, L.A. didn’t miss a beat, racing out to a 7.5-game lead over the Giants in the NL West and amassing the best record in all of baseball.

One would think that Manny would only contribute to the Dodgers’ success and they’ll continue to run away with their division. But don’t forget the media circus that Manny is about to bring with him as he returns to action. His teammates surely will love having him back in the lineup, but they’re going to be put in a tough position over the next couple weeks as they field constant Ramirez-related questions.

Will Manny’s return mean more dominance for the Dodgers like everyone assumes, or will his presence have a surprising negative affect on the club?

Manny to begin rehab assignment soon

The Los Angeles Times writes that Manny Ramirez is scheduled to join the Dodgers’ Triple-A squad on Tuesday and begin his rehab assignment.

Ramirez, who will be eligible to play again for the Dodgers on July 3, can play in as many as 10 minor league games at the end of his 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.

According to preliminary plans Ramirez and the Dodgers made Thursday morning, he will be in Albuquerque for a four-game series against Nashville.

Ramirez will be off June 27 and report to Class-A Inland Empire the next day. He will play in as many as three games for Inland Empire from June 28-30.

He will work out with the Dodgers on July 1, travel with them July 2 and play in the first game of a three-game series in San Diego on July 3.

It’s amazing that the end of Manny’s 50-game suspension is already near. At the start of it, everyone wondered how the Dodgers would fare without him and the results are in: GREAT.

The Dodgers currently have the best record in baseball and remain a whopping nine games above the Giants in the NL West. They’re essentially doing their best Angels impersonation, because they’re going to wrap up their division by late July or early August.

That said, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of effect Manny has on the clubhouse. Considering they’re winning, I assume that the effect will be minimum to positive. I can’t see how adding his bat to their lineup will be a bad thing.

Manny: ‘I didn’t kill or rape anyone.’

Breaking his silence for the first time since he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for PEDs, Manny Ramirez told the Los Angeles Times that he vows to “make it up” to the Dodger fans by leading the team “to another level” upon his return.

He also dropped this little ditty in the interview:

“I didn’t kill nobody, I didn’t rape nobody, so that’s it, I’m just going to come and play the game,” Ramirez said.

You know what? I agree with him. He didn’t kill or rape anybody and if he did take steroids, in the grand scheme of things when you really get down to the nuts and bolts of the issue, he only endangered himself.

But the problem is that he was so arrogant reaching this point that nobody has a problem chastising him to no end. He flat out quit on the Red Sox (not just the organization – but an entire team) last year, only to be traded to the Dodgers and be made a hero.

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