Manny Ramirez deftly flicked away the attempted needles of Times columnist T.J. Simers in the morning paper, than went 4-for-5 against the Diamondbacks and clubbed his second home run as a Dodger. The homer, his 512th, passed Mel Ott and tied Manny with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for #20 on the all-time list. The Dodgers' 9-3 win moved them up to one game behind Arizona. The fans love Manny already, and Frank McCourt must too. The Dodgers have sold thousands of tickets since last week's trade, and I noticed today at the stadium that they're already advertising "Manny merchandise" with his #99 on it.
Bill Shaikin, the LAT's national baseball writer, notes Sunday that Andruw Jones had 65 more lifetime home runs than Ramirez on their respective 30th birthdays — but says it would be best for all if the Dodgers sent the disappointing ex-slugger to the minor leagues.
It is sobering to realize how quickly Jones has fallen from greatness. He turned 30 just last year.
His career might be over. Jones and the Dodgers owe it to each other to do their best to find out.
The Dodgers ought to ask Jones to go to the minor leagues, and he ought to say yes.
Ramirez has as many home runs for the Dodgers in three games as Jones has in 69 games.
Manny fever: Mayor Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff, Jimmy Blackman, sat in the owner's box on the field level at Sunday's game.