UPDATE: OK, pretty much ignore everything that follows. I didn’t read all the way to the end and thus didn’t realize that the “Manny Ramirez” The Los Angeles Time’s T.J. Simers interviewed was not, in fact, the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez. It was a jockey who is also named Manny Ramirez who works at the race track Simers went to. Har har har.
In other news: screw T.J. Simers.
The Los Angeles Times’ T.J. Simers ran into Manny Ramirez at a race track/casino in West Virginia on the Dodgers’ off day Tuesday night. As is Simers’ habit, he asked Manny off-the-wall questions trying to get a reaction. As is Ramirez’s habit, he said whatever popped into his head with little care of regard for the politics of it all.
I tend to like both of those guys for those very reasons.
The highlights: Manny takes Jamie’s side in the McCourt divorce, he wasn’t all that into the opening game on Monday, he thinks the Giants are going to win the NL West and he hates Boston more than any other city.
I expect some people will get their panties all in a bunch about that stuff — paging the Boston media and Bill Plaschke! But given that we’re more than fifteen years into the Ramirez Experience I would hope that everyone would just let it go, ya know?
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.