Dodgers’ Mark Walter interested in keeping Hanley Ramirez in L.A.
Mark Walter, the Dodgers’ controlling owner, said Friday that he is “absolutely” interested in talking to Hanley Ramirez this winter about extending his contract.
Ramirez’s current deal expires at the end of the 2014 season.
“I think a guy like Hanley Ramirez, he’s a special, special player,” Walter said. “If you know where we could find five more, we’ll take them all. I don’t think there are five more.”
Ramirez will earn $15.5 million this year and $16 million next year.
“Hanley’s a special guy,” Walter said. “He’s fun in the clubhouse. He inspires other people. He hits the ball harder than anybody else.”
Ramirez, 29, said that if the Dodgers approach him at any time about a contract extension, he would be open to talking.
“Definitely, because I want to stay here,” Ramirez said. “I want to stay here forever.”
The Dodgers already have five players signed through the 2017 season and beyond — Matt Kemp (through 2019), Adrian Gonzalez (2018), Zack Greinke (2018), Carl Crawford (2017) and Andre Ethier (2017). The team is also trying to sign Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal.
Scully’s return announced
The Dodgers held a news conference to officially announce Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return for a record 65th season in 2014.
Scully will be the voice on the telecasts of the Dodgers’ home games, as well as games on the road in California and Arizona. Starting next season, games will be aired on the Dodgers’ own channel, Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA. The first three innings of the games Scully calls will simulcast on AM 570.
“I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, that I have always felt I am the most ordinary of men who was given an extraordinary break of doing what I love to do at a very early age,” Scully said. “Thanks to God, I’ve been allowed to do it for all these years. And I pray that I will be allowed to do it for one more year.”
Scully is 85.
“I don’t take any of it for granted,” he said. “I know this miracle in my life was given to me and I could lose it in 30 seconds. I could lose it between the time I’m in here and go up to the booth. So I don’t take it for granted in any way, shape or form.”
Walter was delighted.
“I think that every single person needs to hear that man every single time they can,” Walter said. “You can’t replace him. You can’t.”
In a news conference at which he was introduced to the Los Angeles media, reliever Brian Wilson referred to his former team, the San Francisco Giants, as “the other organization up north.” … Manager Don Mattingly watched Kemp run in a pregame workout and was hopeful he would be able to go on a rehabilitation assignment before the minor league season ends in the first week of September.
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