UPDATE: Manny Ramirez not in the lineup for the third straight day

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UPDATE: It’s confirmed. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Manny Ramirez is out of the starting lineup for the third straight game Saturday. Joe Torre can say what he wants about superstitions and not wanting to mess with chemistry of the ballclub, but we all know better.

11:31 AM: Seriously. I’m hoping the Dodgers told manager Joe Torre to make up some
elaborate excuses over the next few days, because it would be a shame if he really believes this.

After the Dodgers won their second straight game with Manny Ramirez on the bench, Torre told Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he hasn’t made up his mind about about including him in the starting lineup Saturday.

“I’m not sure yet,” Torre said. “I told him we would talk about it
tomorrow. I have been a lot more superstitious since I started
managing.”

So, in summary, Scott Podsednik gives the Dodgers a better chance to win than Ramirez. Clearly, the White Sox are going after the wrong guy.

By the way, the Dodgers have won four straight games, improving to 67-62 on the year. They enter play Saturday 4 1/2 games back in the National League Wild Card race.

Report: Red Sox expected to hire Alex Cora after World Series

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox have offered a contract to Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora, though the deal won’t be officially announced until the conclusion of the World Series later this month. Cora has long been a favorite for the Sox’ managerial vacancy, and despite reports that he was being pursued by the Tigers, Mets, Phillies and Nationals, he’s expected to land in Boston after all. The team has yet to verify the report.

The deal is for three years, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Cora is coming off of a one-year gig with the Astros and has no prior managerial experience. More importantly, however, he stands out for his familiarity with the Red Sox’ organization, strong connection with players and analytics-driven approach.

The Red Sox are the second team to replace their manager this offseason after the Tigers snatched up Ron Gardenhire on Friday. The Mets, Phillies and Nationals are still hunting for replacements.