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: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.