Ramirez Will Again Wear Uniform #99

In case you've been out of the country and hadn't heard, the Dodgers agreed to terms with 12-time All-Star outfielder Manny Ramirez on a two-year contract with a player option following the first season. Ramirez, who last year hit .396 (74-for-187) with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 53 regular-season games, helped lead them to a 2008 National League West Division Championship, a sweep of the Cubs.

He became one of the most popular players in franchise history after he was acquired by the Dodgers July 31 along with cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox at last year's trade deadline as part of a three-team deal with Pittsburgh.  Ramirez's 21 homers as a Dodger from August 1 through the postseason were the most by any player on the team for the entire season, one more than Andre Ethier's 20.   

The right-handed hitter batted a combined .332 with 37 homers and 121 RBI in 153 games with the Red Sox and Dodgers in 2008.  He ranked third in the Majors in batting average, tied for fourth in homers, and tied for sixth in RBI.  He also ranked second in the Majors with a .602 slugging percentage, behind only Albert Pujols (.653), and fourth with a .430 on-base percentage.    

MANNYWOOD II: On a related note, Manny Ramirez will continue to wear No. 99.  According to Dodger Manager of Team Travel Scott Akasaki, Dodger players have left exactly 99 tickets for family and friends for today's game with the White Sox.   

CO-TENANTS UNITE: The Dodgers and White Sox played the inaugural game at The Ballpark at Camelback Ranch – Glendale on Sunday, with the South Siders taking a 3-2 decision after scoring three runs in the top of the ninth.  After today's game, the two teams will meet again on Sunday and for the final time in exhibition play on March 28.  The two teams will tango in a regular-season interleague series from June 23-25 in Chicago.  Last year in Interleague Play, the White Sox took two of three games at Dodger Stadium from June 24-26.  The lone Dodger win in that time was a 5-0, four-hit shutout by left-hander Eric Stults.   

DO THE HIROKI POKI: Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is today takes the hill for his second start of the spring.  He last pitched on Sunday against these same White Sox, allowing just one hit over 2.0 scoreless innings.  The Japanese hurler last year played the role of ace in the 2008 playoffs, going 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA 2 ER/12.1 IP) in two clutch starts.  Kuroda was the winning pitcher in the Game 3 of the NLDS against the Cubs, when the Dodgers clinched their first playoff-series victory in 20 years. Kuroda also beat the eventual World Champion Phillies in Game 3 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium. Last season was Kuroda's first in the Major Leagues after spending the previous 11 seasons pitching for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Japanese Central league. The 34-year-old finished 2008 going 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA over 31 starts.   

LEADERS OF THE PACK: Seven games into the exhibition slate, let's take a look at the leader boards.  Non-roster outfielder Mitch Jones leads the Majors with three home runs and 17 total bases.  Jones is also tied for the Major League lead with the Cubs' Micah Hoffpauir with eight RBI.  Infielder Blake DeWitt, meanwhile, is tied for third in the Majors with seven RBI.  The Dodgers, as a team, are tied for third among National League teams with 49 runs scored.    

OPEN TRYOUT: The Dodgers tomorrow will host their annual open tryout, the first at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.  Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and workouts start at 9:00 a.m. on the minor league fields at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.  The tryout is open to players 18 years of age and older, and those players cannot be enrolled in a high school or college.  They also cannot be affiliated with any other baseball organization (i.e. an independent league).   

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: On March 5, 1945, with war-time travel restrictions still in effect‚ the Dodgers open spring training at Bear Mountain‚ NY with 15 players in camp.  Seven teams-the Browns‚ Tigers‚ Reds‚ Indians‚ Cubs‚ Pirates and White Sox-are training in Indiana‚ the most of any state. The Red Sox are at Pleasantville High School in NJ‚ while the Braves are prepping at the Choate School in Connecticut.  

UPCOMING PITCHING PROBABLES: Friday, March 6 at Chicago Cubs: LHP Randy Wolf, RHP Jeff Weaver, LHP Eric Stults, RHP Tanyon Sturtze, LHP Erick Threets.  

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories