Manny says he’s not MVP

Times Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Walking across the clubhouse to his locker, Manny Ramirez literally went out of his way to say that he didn’t deserve to be the NL most valuable player and that Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals did.

“I voted for Pujols,” Ramirez said.

The vote that Ramirez was talking about was for the player of the year of the Players Choice Awards, for which the Dodgers were handed ballots Wednesday. The MVP award is voted on by baseball writers.

“It’s nice that some people think I deserve it,” Ramirez said. “I’d like to win it. But I have to be realistic. Someone who was only here for two months doesn’t deserve it. It should go to someone who played the six months of the season.”


Ramirez said he has resigned himself to the reality that he might never win an MVP award.

“I’ve played 16 years, I’ve been a pretty good player and I’ve never won it,” he said. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll go on with my life.”

And go on playing.

Manager Joe Torre had considered resting Ramirez in final game of the 10-game trip today, but Ramirez told him that it wouldn’t be necessary.

Long night for trio

Russell Martin, Delwyn Young and Joe Beimel shook their heads and giggled when asked about how they were pulled over, individually searched and forced to sit on a curb by a police officer outside of PNC Park the previous night.

The players were at a late-night spot across the street from the ballpark that describes itself as being perfect for a “pregame meal or postgame drink” and accepted a ride back to their hotel by Pirates outfielder Nyjer Morgan. According to the players, the officer told them that Morgan’s black SUV was stopped because the front windows were tinted. The recently purchased vehicle also didn’t have a license plate.

Morgan said he produced paperwork to show that the tinted windows were within legal limits and that the vehicle was registered, prompting the officer to let them go.

“Nice car, young African-American driver, we’re in Pittsburgh -- we fit the description,” Martin said. “It was embarrassing, I’ll tell you that.”

Beimel, who is white and used to live in a Pittsburgh suburb, said he was once pulled over in the area because he had tinted windows. He didn’t think this was a case of racial profiling.

“I don’t think they could see them,” Beimel said. “The windows were tinted.”

2009 schedule released

The Dodgers will start next season in San Diego on April 6 and end it by hosting Colorado at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 4, according to the tentative schedule released Wednesday. Opening day at Dodger Stadium will be on April 13 against the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers’ 18-game interleague schedule includes dates with teams in the AL West, as well as the Chicago White Sox.

Dodger Stadium also will host the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic from March 21-23, as well as exhibitions against the Angels (April 2) and Milwaukee Brewers (April 3-4).

Short hops

Rafael Furcal ran the last two days without any problems. . . . Hong-Chih Kuo will resume playing catch today.