More Ramirez bobbleheads
The Dodgers announced that they would package “a limited number” of Manny Ramirez bobblehead dolls left over from last month’s giveaway with a second bobblehead likeness of the slugger as part of a four-game ticket package.
The second Ramirez bobblehead will be distributed to the first 50,000 spectators who attend the Sept. 16 game against Pittsburgh. It depicts Ramirez tipping his cap to the crowd after his pinch-hit grand slam July 22, the night of the first bobblehead promotion.
Dodgers officials initially had said the first bobblehead would not be sold unless there were extras, but spokesman Josh Rawitch said there remained an unspecified number of dolls left over. He said all 56,000 spectators who attended the July 22 game received a bobblehead and that no new dolls were being produced.
Prices for the four-game ticket package that includes both bobbleheads range from $64 to $120 depending on seat location.
Toeing the line
Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton has had some shaky moments late in the season the last two years, going 1-3 with a 5.11 earned-run average last August and compiling a 6.75 ERA in September 2007.
Broxton has embarked on a new biking regimen this year to improve his conditioning, but he said he is also careful not to overdo it.
“You don’t want to kill yourself doing extra stuff,” he said. “You want to be strong enough to go out there every day.”
Broxton appears to have recovered from the irritated nerve in the big toe of his right foot that kept him out of the All-Star game; six of his previous seven outings had been scoreless before the Dodgers played the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Comeback on hold
Doug Mientkiewicz arrived at Dodger Stadium early for throwing drills and it wasn’t pretty. He fielded balls near first base and made what appeared to be labored throws home.
“He’s pretty depressed today,” said Manager Joe Torre, adding that the first baseman, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, probably wouldn’t return before September.
“Offensively, he’ll be ready before that, but figuring a way to get from 13 to 12 pitchers in order for that to be possible, that’s another question mark. . . . For a guy to be just a pinch-hitter with four guys on the bench is tough, unless they can play a position.”
Reliever Ronald Belisario will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 27 at the Pasadena courthouse on charges stemming from his June 27 arrest on suspicion of drunk driving. . . . Brad Ausmus started at catcher in place of Russell Martin because the Dodgers didn’t return from Atlanta until shortly before 3 a.m.. Torre said Martin would catch every other game this week until Sunday. . . . Torre said the cramp in pitcher Chad Billingsley’s right thigh that limited him to five innings Sunday was caused by dehydration. . . . In a bizarre turn of events, the Dodgers promoted a man outfitted in a rubber green suit nicknamed “The Creature” on the video board between innings, then had security personnel force him to remove his costume. Rawitch said spectators are not allowed to wear anything that conceals their faces. The man was escorted from his seat by security guards, drawing boos from spectators, but Rawitch said the man was allowed to stay at the game.
Where: Dodger Stadium.
On the air: TV: Channel 9; Radio: 790, 930.
Pitchers: Hiroki Kuroda vs. Yovani Gallardo.
Update: Kuroda credited his solid six-inning outing against St. Louis last week to adjustments he made in his footwork and timing that allowed him to smooth out his delivery. The right-hander held the Cardinals to two runs and four hits in his most promising start since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list. Gallardo finished July on a strong note, winning his last two starts and pitching at least seven innings in each game. He gave up three runs in seven innings Thursday in Milwaukee’s 7-3 victory over Washington.
-- Ben Bolch