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DODGERS FYI

Ramirez, agent dismiss report

August 03, 2008|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

Agent Scott Boras dismissed a report in the Boston Globe that he had tried to salvage the relationship between Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox after the team had traded the left fielder to the Dodgers as "completely inaccurate."

According to the report, Boras informed Red Sox management after the deal that if it was willing to drop the two remaining option years on Ramirez's contract, the outfielder would behave for the rest of the season.

"There was one phone call made to let me know Manny was traded," Boras said Saturday evening. "There was no follow-up phone call."

Ramirez seemed irked when asked about the report before the Dodgers played Arizona at Dodger Stadium.

"That's not true," he said. "You bring your stuff back from Boston. I'm in L.A. already. Talk to me about today."

Ramirez preferred to keep the mood light in the clubhouse, hooking up an iPod to a speaker system above his locker and playing salsa music.

When the volume was lowered, catcher Russell Martin asked, "What happened to the music?" and Ramirez walked over and turned it back up.

Numbers game

Even though Ramirez seemed receptive to the idea of wearing No. 30 because it was the number on the Dodgers jersey his grandmother had purchased for him as a boy, he said he would stick with No. 99.

Joe Beimel probably wouldn't mind a switch. The reliever who wears No. 97 was proud to hold the distinction of wearing the highest number in club history since at least 1932.

"That was the one record I had, and it's gone now," joked Beimel, who wears the number as a tribute to a son who was born in 1997. "I'm a little disappointed about that. He two-upped me. He couldn't go with No. 98."

Third baseman Casey Blake, who wears No. 30, said he told Ramirez he could have the number if he wanted it.

Frustration mounts

Manager Joe Torre acknowledged that he was frustrated with center fielder Andruw Jones because "he can't just seem to relax when he gets in the game."

Not that Torre thinks Jones isn't trying to work his way out of a season-long slump in which he's hitting .161.

"If I felt he wasn't trying to help himself, I don't think I would have continued to try to make it work" by playing Jones, Torre said. "But he was in there working at it and we have two hitting coaches working with him. Practice stuff has been good. Unfortunately, it's not the same as the game."

Short hops

The Dodgers' outfield apparently is not composed of interchangeable parts. Torre said he would be reluctant to play Ramirez anywhere but left field because that's where he played in his 7 1/2 seasons with the Red Sox. The manager also said he would be hesitant to play Juan Pierre in right field because of his arm strength and would not use a late-inning defensive replacement for Ramirez unless he saw "something I'm uncomfortable with." . . . Brad Penny, recovering from a sore shoulder, gave up six hits and two runs in four innings during a rehabilitation assignment for triple-A Las Vegas. The right-hander is scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers on Friday when they open a series in San Francisco. . . . Shortstop Rafael Furcal said he was still holding out hope that he could return this season from the back injury that has sidelined him since early May. But Furcal, who had surgery July 3, said he only wanted to come back if he could do so at full strength.

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ben.bolch@latimes.com

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