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Why Manny Is Gone

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On Friday Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said that the Dodgers would not be inclined to deal away key players while the Dodgers were in playoff contention. He also said that outfielder Manny Ramirez was crucial in the Dodgers making the postseason. Today it was officially announced that the Chicago White Sox would get Ramirez in a straight waiver deal.

“If he could have played left field every day, it would be a different story,” Colletti said. “We wouldn’t be standing here right now.

“The defense got to be a struggle for him, and he wanted to continue to hit and continue to try and be productive.”

Colletti was insistent that this move was not the Dodgers waving the white flag.

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“I don’t think we’re out. I think the reality of the defensive part of the game being a struggle. It’s not like we don’t have a Major League outfielder to play left field.”

Entering today the Dodgers are 6 ½ games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the NL wild card, two games worse than they were in Friday. However they begin a three-game series against the Phillies tonight and have a three-game weekend series against the wild card second-place team San Francisco Giants which gives them an opportunity to make up some games.

And they do have Scott Podsednik to play left field.

“Once we got Podsednik for me I just felt he gave us energy, a way to manufacture and create and do some things,” manager Joe Torre said. “The combination of that and Manny’s stints on the disabled list. It was just a matter of this league not being the right place for him to be.”

Right or not, the Dodgers were 32-22 with Ramirez in the starting lineup and 10-16 with Podsednik. Say what you want about stats - batting average, RBI, OPS, WAR, BABIP, OPS+, fielding percentage and what not. All that matters in the end are wins and losses, and it seemed clear that the threat of Ramirez in the starting lineup outweighed whatever energy Torre wanted at the top of the lineup.

However the fact that Ramirez couldn’t play the outfield limited his chances to be able to crack in the starting lineup.

“Physically in our league he couldn’t play every day,” Torre said. “That probably was more of a determining factor more than anything else.

“He felt the he would be better off going to the other league because of the DH situation and playing every day.”

So to review, Manny apparently was no longer a key player for the Dodgers because of his inability to play left field. Torre likes Podsednik. And the Dodgers keep trudging on through this 2010 season.

Rafael Furcal. In a stark contrast to the last home stand two weeks ago, shortstop Rafael Furcal looked upbeat.

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“I feel much better than before,” Furcal said with a smile. “The whole time in Arizona I worked hard.”

“We’ll probably make a decision today or tomorrow to try and get some rehab into him,” Torre said.

The rehab assignment will have to be done this week since Class-A Inland Empire’s season will be over on Monday.

Lineups

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Chase Utley, 2B
  3. Placido Polanco, 3B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Jayson Werth, RF
  6. Raul Ibanez, LF
  7. Shane Victorino, CF
  8. Carlos Ruiz, C
  9. Roy Halladay, P

LA Dodgers

  1. Scott Podsednik, LF
  2. Ryan Theriot, 2B
  3. Andre Ethier, RF
  4. Matt Kemp, CF
  5. James Loney, 1B
  6. Casey Blake, 3B
  7. Jamey Carroll, SS
  8. Rod Barajas, C
  9. Hiroki Kuroda, P