Dodgers hit the eject button on Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramirez saw one pitch in his sixth-inning pinch-hit appearance during the Dodgers’ 10-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
The pitch was called a strike, he argued it was a ball and was thrown out of the game — with the bases loaded.
That was Ramirez’s final act as a Dodger.
Ramirez will be sent to the Chicago White Sox in a waiver deal on Monday, according to multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because baseball officials are forbidden from talking about waiver-wire activity.
So on the day that owner Frank McCourt’s divorce trial is scheduled to begin, the Dodgers will end their up-and-down 25-month relationship with Ramirez, the once-beloved outfielder who was tarnished by a drug scandal and turned into a part-time player this year when his 38-year-old body repeatedly betrayed him.
Although the deal was still being finalized Sunday night, the Dodgers were prepared to let Ramirez go without receiving anything more than salary relief in return. The Dodgers, who are 6½ games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the wild-card race, will be left with Scott Podsednik as their starting left fielder.
If the White Sox acquire Ramirez on a straight waiver claim, as it appears they will, they will be entirely responsible for the nearly $4 million he is due to earn over the remainder of the season.
The White Sox were awarded the waiver claim for Ramirez on Friday, which gave them exclusive rights to acquire him until Tuesday.
Ramirez, who was benched by Manager Joe Torre in each of the Dodgers’ last four games, has a full no-trade clause and can block any move to the White Sox. But multiple sources said that Ramirez has indicated he would forfeit his no-trade rights and do so without receiving any financial compensation.
By moving to the American League, Ramirez would be able to audition for his next contract as a designated hitter. The two-year, $45-million contract he signed with the Dodgers expires at the end of this season.
Before the game Sunday, Torre continued to insist that his benching of Ramirez was unrelated to a potential deal.
Asked whether the Dodgers were trying to coerce Ramirez into waiving his no-trade clause by not playing him, Torre replied, “I’m not trying to do anything. I’m just trying to win games. You know that.”
In the aftermath of the loss, Torre said he was shocked by Ramirez’s ejection, which took place with the Dodgers trailing, 8-2.
The way Torre later recounted the story, a part of him was startled by how quickly Ramirez was ejected. A part was thinking about whom he would send to hit for Ramirez. And a part was upset at Ramirez, figuring he must have said something vile to home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom to be tossed.
After Ramirez’s replacement, Reed Johnson, grounded into an inning-ending double play, Torre said he went into the clubhouse to scold Ramirez. But Ramirez told him he never cursed at Cederstorm, an account Torre said the umpire later confirmed.
“I was very disappointed in the fact that [Cederstrom] threw him out because he said the pitch was outside and he was ‘demonstrative’ about it, quote, unquote,” Torre said. “What does that mean?”
Torre said he apologized to Ramirez.
Ramirez had nothing to say on the matter.
Like almost every other time he was approached by a reporter this season, he shook his head and said, “No, gracias.”
Ramirez, who was wearing sunglasses and a tan suit, dragged his rollaway suitcase behind him and exited the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field.