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Manny's move fine with them

August 01, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- No tears were shed in the Angels' clubhouse Thursday when the team learned that Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers in a three-way deal that brought Pittsburgh outfielder Jason Bay to Boston.

"I'll tell you man, that's one more guy I don't have to worry about," said closer Francisco Rodriguez, who gave up a prodigious walk-off homer to Ramirez in last October's playoffs and another homer to him Monday night. "Bay is good, too, but they won't be as strong as they were with Manny batting behind [David] Ortiz."

Manager Mike Scioscia called Ortiz and Ramirez, who in 116 career games against the Angels hit .300 with 24 homers, 35 doubles and 89 runs batted in, one of the best one-two tandems in the game.

"Manny is a guy who has definitely hurt us," Scioscia said. "It remains to be seen what happens to their offense. They might be more situational. But that was one big pill to get out of the middle of that lineup."

Farewell tour

Asked to name their favorite Yankee Stadium memories as they prepared for their final regular-season series in baseball's most revered park, several Angels listed hits or plays from 2002 and 2005 playoff victories here.

Not Scioscia. His came as a high school senior in 1976, when he had a pre-draft workout in Yankee Stadium and launched several balls over the short porch (314 feet) in right field.

"I got to meet Billy Martin, I wore a Yankees uniform, and I used Graig Nettles' bat," Scioscia said. "It was a special day. My whole family came up, and we watched the Yankees play the Orioles.

"I hit a few home runs and was puffing my chest out. My dad said, 'You know, those balls are probably fly-ball outs at your high school field.' He was trying to level me off."


Though no player said he would bring home a souvenir from the stadium, some were tempted.

"We were talking to the groundskeepers, and they said they're going to collect vials of dirt and sell them for $50," utility man Robb Quinlan said. "[Mike] Napoli said he's going to fill up his whole catcher's bag with dirt and sell the stuff."

If the stadium is auctioned off, piece by piece, "it should go to the fans of New York," Quinlan said. "They've supported this team for years. They deserve it."

Scioscia said "the only thing I'll bring out of the clubhouse is gas from the Italian food. All those peppers and sausage killed me."

Short hops

Napoli (shoulder irritation) worked out in Yankee Stadium on Thursday and then flew to Southern California to begin a five- or six-game rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga tonight. . . . The timetable for the return of Kelvim Escobar, who underwent surgery to repair a shoulder tear Tuesday, is nine to 12 months.


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