No One Wanted Manny Ramirez?

According to reliable sources, the Red Sox offered uberhitter Manny Ramirez to all of the other 29 Major League teams and, apparently, none were interested. Certainly his $20 million salary was part of the problem but then someone in the Boston front office had a bright idea: why not pay the remainder of his 2008 salary?

The other clubs had certainly watched the messy separation of the super star and the super team, with each pointing a blaming finger at the other. Some even said Ramirez is a "goofier" version of Barry Bonds.

But Ted Williams was a renegade when he played for Boston (do you think the Boston press has anything to do with this? ...Nah). But had you offered the problem child of the Red Sox to any other team in either league for whatever table scraps they might offer for him, you could be trampled in the frenzy.

So Theo Epstein, who looks like your average high school sophomore who lived next next door, called everyone again and put this proposal to them: We'll pay the $7 million salary for the rest of the season, what do you offer?

Even then, only the Dodgers, Marlins and Phillies even nibbled. No other team even said, "thanks for the call." None. Zero. Nada.

Perhaps they thought it was posturing on the Red Sox's part, with the plan to pull back the superstar after they had properly taught him a lesson. You can hear them saying, "remember the two option years at $20 million you might be giving up." That would have worked in 1950, not today.

So Ramirez signed a pre-nup, agreeing to negate the option years for the opportunity to become a free agent after the season. Do you think his agent, Scott Boras had anything to do with that idea? Again ...nah.

The word was on the street that the Dodgers were tough to deal with, a unsubstantiated rumor that owner Frank McCourt had killed a deal for CC Sabathia and all and most of the "experts" said Los Angeles wouldn't pull the trigger.

But on the other hand, as the country song goes, McCourt is a collector of Boston memorabilia, including Bill Mueller, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe and Grady Little.

Some days before the deadline the Red Sox had asked for Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, and many thought it was a reasonable deal, excepting those who have seen Kemp's huge upside and knew that the 23-year-old had just begin to harness his talents.

The Red Sox lowered their request to a combination of young outfielder Andre Ethier and third-base prospect Andy LaRoche. Then the Red Sox requested shortstop prospect Chin-lung Hu and were again turned down.

Boston then felt the Dodgers were still unable to pull the trigger.

They tried to deal with the Marlins but were not so interested in their offer.

The Dodgers finally allowed Andy LaRoche to be part of the package sent to Pittsburgh and the Pirates selected the Dodgers' 2006 first round selection Bryan Morris, who sat out all of 2007 with an arm injury, so the deal was consummated with :01 minute left on the trading deadline clock.

The Dodgers agreed to pay a $1 million bonus to Ramirez as stipulated in the original Red Sox contract and the money was made up immediately on walk-in tickers and over 200 season ticket sales.

Now, apparently happy to be free of Boston, Ramirez exploded out of the gate, driving out eight hits in his first three games (.615 average), including a pair of homers, and talking about signing on for another hitch after this season expires.

Would Trip to the Minors Help Jones?> The Dodgers might be on the verge of asking Andruw Jones to go to the minor leagues in an attempt to right himself. Of course, they can ask all they want to. The only way Jones, a veteran with well in excess of the requisite five years of major-league service time, will actually go is if he consents to do so.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre had a lengthy conversation on Sunday morning with Jones' agent, Scott Boras. When that meeting finally broke up, Torre and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti disappeared into Colette's office.

Torre later seemed to downplay a suggestion that Jones might be well served to go down.

"We're trying to fix Andruw," Torre said. "He is going to have to do it off the bench at this point in time. He is working on some stuff with (extra hitting coach) Jeff (Pentland) and (hitting coach) Donnie (Mattingly). But long-term, I think we're going to have to see some signs to get him back to regular status at this point in time."

Torre then was asked whether going to the minors had been proposed to Jones, and he said it hadn't. But that didn't necessarily mean it hadn't been proposed to Boras. And it doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen in the coming days.

NOTES, QUOTES --LF Manny Ramirez went 4-for-5 and now is eight for 13 with a double, two home runs and five RBIs in three games with the Dodgers. The homer was the 512th of his career, moving him into a tie for 20th place on the all-time list with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews. His second-inning double knocked Arizona's Doug Davis out of the game and gave Ramirez a .438 career average (seven for 16) against Davis.

--3B Casey Blake went 2-for-4 with two singles and is batting .364 (12 for 33) with four doubles, a home run and two RBIs in nine games since being traded to the Dodgers. Overall, he is batting .368 (21 for 57) with three homers and eight RBIs in 16 games since the All-Star break. Since June 1, he is batting .354 (70 for 198) with 31 RBIs in 54 games after batting .225 through the end of May.

--OF Juan Pierre went 1-for-5 and is batting .303 (10 for 33) with six runs scored in nine games since returning from the disabled list. He also has hit safely in 12 of his past 14 games, batting .283 (15 for 53). However, he now has gone 19 consecutive games without an extra-base hit, his most recent one having come on June 18 at Cincinnati, a triple off Reds lefty Jeremy Affeldt.

--RHP Jason Johnson was staked to a 5-2 lead but failed to complete the requisite five innings to qualify for the win. After giving up a one-out home run to Stephen Drew followed by a walk to Orlando Hudson in the fifth, Johnson was removed. He was making what is expected to be his final start before being replaced in the starting rotation by Brad Penny, who is scheduled to start on Friday night at San Francisco, but Johnson might be kept around to pitch out of the bullpen.

--RHP Cory Wade pitched 1 2/3 innings and was credited with his second career victory by scorer's discretion. Wade has now pitched seven consecutive scoreless innings over his past five outings. He entered the day fourth among rookie relievers in ERA, a figure he shaved to 2.54 in his 38th appearance.

BY THE NUMB3RS: 1.80 -- Collective ERA for the Dodgers' pitching staff on their season-long, 10-game homestand, which concluded on Sunday. Dodgers pitchers allowed just 18 earned runs over 80 innings against Washington, San Francisco and Arizona. The bullpen was even better, allowing just three earned runs in 25 2/3 innings (1.05). Take away a seven-run implosion by Hiroki Kuroda on July 28 against the Giants, and the starters had a 1.42 ERA for the homestand.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I will be looking like a baby now. They have some rules here, and I don't want them to treat me differently from the other guys. If they want me to cut my hair, I will cut it. Don't worry. It will grow back." -- Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez, on manager Joe Torre's request that he have his famous dreadlocks sheared off after being traded from Boston. Torre made a similar request of then-hirsute reliever Joe Beimel during spring training.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 REPORT
INF Nomar Garciaparra (sprained medial collateral ligament in right knee) left the July 27 game and hasn't played since. He took batting practice July 29, and he might stay off the disabled list if he shows he could be used as a pinch hitter.

RHP Brad Penny (mild tendinitis and inflammation in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 15. He threw a simulated game July 26. He will make a rehab start for Class AAA Las Vegas on Aug. 2, putting him on target to start Aug. 8 at San Francisco.

RHP Takashi Saito (sprained right elbow ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 13. He is expected to be out until at least late August.

SS Rafael Furcal (lower back tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 6, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 4. He was expected to be activated May 23 but was sore that morning. He started a rehab assignment with Class AAA Las Vegas on June 30, and he felt discomfort in his back the next morning. He had surgery July 3 to have a disk in his lower back partially removed. He will miss at least eight more weeks.

RHP Scott Proctor (sore right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 22.

RHP Jason Schmidt (right shoulder surgery in June 2007) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 20. He began a rehab assignment May 11. He was hit in the calf with a line drive during a rehab start on May 31, and the "new injury" extended his stay in the minors. He began a new rehab assignment with Class AAA Las Vegas on June 28, but had a setback in mid-July, pushing his timetable back.

C Gary Bennett (plantar fasciitis in left foot) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 19, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 25. He had a setback in mid-June, and there was no timetable on his return.

INF Tony Abreu (sore right hip) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 13. He had season-ending surgery May 28.

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