Notify Security; Manny to Play Thursday

Outfielder Manny Ramirez said he was hoping to start Thursday against the Korean World Baseball Classic team, which means extra fans plus some 100 oriental media who will be covering the game. Ramirez has been working out daily since he signed, arriving at 6 a.m. to do outfield drills, base running drills and conditioning running.

Ramirez, who hit .396 (74-for-187) with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 53 regular-season games in a Dodger uniform in 2008, helped lead the team to the National League West Division Championship, a sweep of the Cubs in the Division Series, and its first National League Championship Series appearance since 1988. 

VAYA CON DIEOS: Word was just received that longtime Dodger Assistant to Fred Claire, Kevin Malone and Peter O'Malley, Rosie Gutierrez, passed away this morning after a lengthy illness.  Rosie worked for the Dodgers for more than 30 years and was loved and respected by all. Funeral arrangements are pending.

SNAKE WRANGLING: The Dodgers will square off with their division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon. Today's meeting will be the first of two games against the D'Backs this spring, with the other coming on March 31 at Tucson's Electric Park. Last year, these two teams battled for the National League West crown all season until Los Angeles pulled away late and ended up taking the division by 2.0 games.

ROSTER SHUFFLE: The Dodgers reassigned to minor league camp LHP Carmen Cali and RHP Edgar Martinez.  There are currently 56 players in big league camp, excluding INF Ivan DeJesus Jr., who suffered a broken left tibia in a collision at home plate in the bottom of the fourth in a "B" game on March 2 against the Brewers.   

A TRUE CLASSIC: Speaking of the World Baseball Classic, RHP Jonathan Broxton worked a scoreless seventh inning in Team USA's 15-6 win against Venezuela in Toronto.  He allowed one hit and struck out one. Broxton made one Cactus League appearance before leaving for the Classic, working 1.0 inning in a February 26 game against the Giants in Scottsdale.   

The Unites States' team has advanced to the second round of the classic and will play their final "Pool C" game either Venezuela or Italy to determine the winner of the pool. Unfortunately, for Dodger catcher Russell Martin, the WBC is over as Canada was upended by Italy. The semi-finals and finals of the World Baseball Classic will be held at Dodger Stadium form March 21-23.  

HONORING A LEGEND: Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully received a 2009 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Award (AMEE) at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The AMEEs were established in 2002 to honor AFTRA members in three fields: Sound Recordings, News and Broadcasting, and Entertainment. Past winners have included Roberta Flack, Don Hewitt and the cast of 60 Minutes, Susan Lucci, Sam Donaldson, and Maureen McGovern.   

JUST WIN: The Dodgers Women's Initiatives Network (DodgersWIN) will present a baseball clinic at Camelback Ranch – Glendale on Saturday, March 28.  Dodger legends Maury Wills, Ron Cey, Don Newcombe, Mike Davis, and Bob Welch will lead the two-hour clinic, which will take place immediately following the afternoon's 1:05 p.m. Dodgers-White Sox Spring Training game.   

Registration is $50 per person and is open to fans 15 years of age or older.  A ticket to that afternoon's game is not needed to participate in the clinic, but can be purchased separately.  Fans can sign up for this special opportunity at dodgers.com/WIN.  Additional information is available by calling 323-224-2646.  

BAN-GAP SUP-NEE-DA: The Dodgers will play host to Team Korea on Thursday, which will be preparing for second-round play of the World Baseball Classic, after clinching the top spot out of "Pool A." On Sunday, the Koreans will face the winner of "Pool B," which will either be Cuba or Australia.  

Before Sunday however, Team Korea will have to tangle with the Dodgers and the debut of LF Manuel Aristides Ramírez Onelcida, who signed a two-year deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday. Ramirez, who hit .396 (74-for-187) with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 53 regular-season games in a Dodger uniform in 2008, helped lead the team to the National League West Division Championship, a sweep of the Cubs in the Division Series, and its first National League Championship Series appearance since 1988.   

  THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN: Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda has been nothing short of dominant as he works in preparation for his second season in the Major Leagues after pitching 10 years in the Japanese Central League for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. The right-hander has allowed just two hits over 5.0 innings this spring without walking a batter, making a strong case to start Opening Day, April 6 at San Diego which is just 27 days away.   

TOEING THE RUBBER: Following Kuroda to the mound against the Diamondbacks are RHP Jeff Weaver, LHP Eric Stults, RHP Guillermo Mota, RHP Tanyon Sturtze, and LHP Stephen Randolph. The D'Backs will answer with 2006 Cy Young Award Brandon Webb, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Billy Buckner, LHP Doug Slaten, LHP Scott Schoeneweis, RHP Jon Rauch, and RHP Hector Ambriz. Webb is the second Cy Young Award winner the Dodgers have faced this spring, as they previously stared down 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito on March 4.   

NO BREAKUP WITH THIS "X": Dodger outfielder Xavier Paul was the youngest Dodger on the squad entering big league camp last year and the strides he has shown in year two are more visible every day. Paul went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI yesterday, missing the cycle by just a home run. The Louisiana native is hitting .406 (13-for-32) with a team-leading 13 hits and 23 total bases. Paul also leads all Grapefruit and Cactus leaguers with 10 RBI.  

Not to be outdone, infielder Juan Castro is batting a team-best .524 (11-for-21) while leading all of baseball with five doubles. Castro leads the Dodgers with nine runs scored and his .905 slugging percentage is second-best in the Cactus league.   

TAKE A LOAD OFF: The Dodgers will have their first true offday of the spring tomorrow (Wednesday). The second and final offday of Cactus League season comes on March 18. There was a scheduled offday on March 2, but the Dodgers invited the Milwaukee Brewers over from Maryvale and played a seven-inning "B" game.

BIRTHDAYS AT THE RANCH: The Dodgers would like to extend warm Camelback Ranch birthday wishes to Dodger Director of Asian operations Acey Kohrogi. The 2009 season is Kohrogi's 21st in professional baseball and his 15th with the Dodgers. Currently, he is in Japan on a scouting assignment. Acey also shares his birthday with ticket-office maestro Aaron Dubner, Carrie Underwood, Ron Howard, Roger Daltrey, and Harry Caray, who would have been 95 today.  

YESTERDAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY: On March 9, 1995, baseball owners vote 28-0 to admit two new teams – the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks – for the 1998 season

DODGERS BLUE NOTES: The Brewers released P Eric Gagne.    

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