Sunday
Jul052009

Life After 50 For Ramirez: Dodgers' Outfielder Returns From Suspension But Won't Get All-Star Game Spot

July 5, 2009: Manny Ramirez is back in left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were in San Diego to play the Padres in his first series following a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancement drug policy, and he got mixed reviews from the fans. Some held signs that read "Welcome Back, Manny." Some held signs that read "Ram-Roid" and other drug-related inferences. For Ramirez and his teammates, it was what he did on the field that counted. His first game, July 3, was a 6-3 win over the Padres, during which he was 0-3 with a walk. In his second game, July 4, he homered in the first inning, his seventh homer of the year and the 534th of his career , tying Ramirez with Jimmie Foxx for 16th on the all-time list, but went 1-3 in a 7-4 loss. Game 3 in the series on July 5 saw Ramirez enter as a pinch-hitter in the 11th inning and fly out in the Dodgers' 13-inning 7-6 win.

Ramirez was among the top seven National League outfielders as voting for the 2009 All-Star Game ended. Although he had at one point been has high as fourth, Ramirez has still garnered more than 1.5million votes despite being suspended since early May for violating MLB's performance enhancement drug policy. The top three vote getters got automatic berths - the Philadelphia Phillies' Raul Ibanez, Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun and Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets. Reserves named were Brad Hawpe (Colorado), Hunter Pence (Houston) and Justin Upton (Arizona). Ramirez' name also was not among the list of five National League players on the list tfrom which one will be selected by fans via online voting (which ends July 9 at 4 PM ET).

Ramirez returned to the Dodgers' line up in San Diego when L.A. began a nine-game road trip leading into the All-Star break, July 13-15. He is expected to get All-Star treatment when the Dodgers return home on July 16 for a series against Houston. The team has said it would reinstate "Mannywood," that section in left field used to sell tickets and Manny-related merchandise "directly based on our fans' interest," Dodgers president Dennis Mannion said recently. And although his income from endorsements is relatively low ($3-4 million annually, per analysts), marketers and fans have not chastised him in the way Michael Phelps was busted by some of his marketing partners after the infamous marijuana bong photo was published.

“I don’t think I need to give him any advice," Dodgers' manager Joe Torre told reporters recently. "He’s been pretty good because a lot of places he’ll get booed, he’ll get cheered. But it’s mainly booed because that’s usually what they do to good players when you go to different fields, ball clubs." Then Torre, who spent nearly a decade at the helm of the New York Yankees, added, "Whatever it is, it’s certainly going to be minor compared to what he’s going to have to face when we go to New York [to play the Mets July 7,8,9]."

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

STARTERS
Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota
Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston
Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay
Jason Bay, OF, Boston
Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Seattle
Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas

PITCHERS
Andrew Bailey, Oakland
Josh Beckett, Boston
Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox
Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels
Zack Greinke, Kansas City
Roy Halladay, Toronto
Felix Hernandez, Seattle
Edwin Jackson, Detroit
Joe Nathan, Minnestoa
Jonathan Papelbon, Boston
Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
Justin Verlander, Detroit
Tim Wakefield, Boston

RESERVES
Victor Martinez, C, Cleveland
Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota
Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Boston
Aaron Hill, 2B, Toronto
Jason Bartlett, SS, Tampa Bay
Michael Young, 3B Texas
Carl Crawford, OF, Tampa Bay
Curtis Granderson, OF, Detroit
Torii Hunter,OF, Los Angeles Angels
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore
Ben Zobrist, OF, Tampa Bay

NATIONAL LEAGUE

STARTERS
Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis
Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis
Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia
Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida
David Wright, 3Bm New York Mets R/R
Carlos Beltran, OF, New York Mets
Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee
Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia

PITCHERS
Heath Bell, San Diego
Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers
Matt Cain, San Francisco
Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati
Ryan Franklin, St. Louis
Dan Haren, Arizona
Josh Johnson, Florida
Ted Lilly, Chicago
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
Jason Marquis, Colorado
Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets
Johan Santana, New York Mets

RESERVES
Brian McCann, C, Atlanta
Prince Fielder, 1Bm Milwaukee
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, San Diego
Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia
Orlando Hudson, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Freddy Sanchez, 2B, Pittsburgh
Miguel Tejada, SS, Houston
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington
Brad Hawpe, OF, Colorado
Hunter Pence, OF, Houston
Justin Upton, OF, Arizona

Fans can vote until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 9 in the Sprint Final Vote to determine which two players should be the 33rd and final members of their league's All-Star team. Fans voting online can choose from among these players

AL:
Chone Figgins, Los Angeles Angeles
Brandon Inge Detroit
Ian Kinsler Texas
Adam Lind Toronto
Carlos Penz, Tampa Bay

NL:
Cristian Guzman Washington
Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers
Mark Reynolds Arizona
Pablo Sandoval San Francisco
Shane Victorino, Philadelphia

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