Joe Torre on being done in 2011: "I've lied before so it doesn't matter"

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That’s what he said immediately after saying yesterday that 2011 would be his last year. I like it when baseball people allow themselves to be honest like that.  The L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin spoke with Torre on a bunch of other topics as well:

  • He expects that Manny Ramirez will be back as “a middle-of-the-lineup guy” this year and thinks that his post-suspension struggles were all about mechanics and rust as opposed to human chorionic gonadotropin withdrawal or something.
  • He reminds us that Clayton Kershaw is only 21 and that “We can’t all of a sudden hook our wagon to him and say, ‘Take us there.'”  He expects the Dodgers to get another pitcher.  For what it’s worth, L.A. has been linked with Joel Piniero, may be watching Ben Sheets on Tuesday and, of course, is probably going to bring back Vicente Padilla.
  • He doesn’t know why the Dodgers didn’t offer Randy Wolf arbitration and says “it just didn’t seem reasonable to me he would come back for a year.”  This kind of thing is always interesting. I mean, if you asked Torre “hey, do you think Ned Colletti screwed up in not offering Wolf arbitration,” he’d always say no, he trusts Ned and The Plan and blah, blah, blah. But his dead-on assessment that Wolf wouldn’t take a one year deal to stay in L.A. makes the decision dumb by definition. No, I don’t expect Torre to slam his boss, but still.

If he had any comments about the McCourt divorce they were presumably off the record.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.