Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel supports Manny Ramirez
Like Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said he wouldn’t have a problem with Manny Ramirez playing in the All-Star game if fans vote him into the National League’s starting lineup.
Manuel will manage the NL All-Stars in the game, which will be played on July 14 in St. Louis.
“Major League Baseball has rules,” Manuel said. “Once you’re eligible and you can play, why shouldn’t he play? . . . If he’s voted in, I don’t see where it becomes an issue. For me, I don’t see where it becomes an issue at all.”
Ramirez ranks fifth among NL outfielders with 635,530 votes and is 135,000 votes behind Alfonso Soriano, who is third and in line for the final starting spot.
McCourt said last week that he would like Ramirez to play in the All-Star game if he is voted in, adding that for him to be selected would “be a great honor.”
Dodgers Manager Joe Torre offered an opposing view, saying he didn’t want to see Ramirez in the game because of the number of games he has missed for violating baseball’s drug policy.
Ramirez has served 27 games of a 50-game ban.
Manuel, who has a relationship with Ramirez that dates to their days in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system, said his opinion of Ramirez hasn’t been altered by recent developments.
“I knew him when he was 17 years old and he could hit then,” Manuel said.
“He’s been a tremendous hitter.”
Park back in L.A.
Chan Ho Park was back at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, this time as a member of the Phillies’ bullpen.
Park acknowledged that he was disappointed that the Dodgers made no effort to sign him last winter. He excelled as a middle reliever for them last season, when he was 4-4 with a 3.40 earned-run average in 54 games.
“They didn’t talk to me or anything,” Park said. “I don’t understand why.”
Would he have liked to stay with the Dodgers?
“Why not?” he asked. “This is the most comfortable city for me.”
Part of the reason the Dodgers didn’t pursue Park was that he made clear his desire to start, something he got a chance to do with the Phillies, who signed him to a one-year, $2.5-million deal.
Park was the Phillies’ fifth starter when the season opened but was demoted to the bullpen after posting a 1-1 record with a 7.29 ERA in seven starts. He hasn’t pitched any better out of the bullpen.
“Better than not playing, right?” said Park, who has been sidelined by injuries for much of his career.
Park, who turns 36 years old this month, said that he often ponders his retirement these days but that he intends to pitch until no team offers him work.
Paul survives scare
Xavier Paul said he was relieved to be cured of the staph infection that sent him to the disabled list two weeks ago and hospitalized him for five days.
Paul said he became worried when the infection, which was in his left knee, started to climb up his thigh. He said he wondered if he would lose his leg.
Paul started baseball activities two days ago and is scheduled to go to the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Arizona next week to get back into playing shape.
Hudson is back
Orlando Hudson, who sat out his first game of the season on Wednesday, was back in the Dodgers’ lineup. Torre said he would try to rest Hudson regularly, perhaps once every 10 days or so.
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