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Mannywood?

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  September 26, 2008 10:44 AM

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Yup. Mannywood. We'll leave it to the Los Angeles Times's Dylan Hernandez to explain:

Ramirez walked onto the field and took a microphone in his hand. Looking up at the screaming crowd that remained at Dodger Stadium, he shouted, "What's up, L.A.? Mannywood!"

Yes, the admiration and adoration remains mutual between Ramirez and Dodgers' fans. And yesterday was the pinnacle so far.

The Dodgers officially clinched the NL West title Thursday afternoon when the second-place Diamondbacks lost to the Cardinals. Following their loss to the Padres last night at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers acknowledged their third postseason berth in five years with a champagne-splashed clubhouse celebration that eventually spilled on to the field.

Ramirez, batting .393 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 51 games with the Dodgers, was the toast of it all. The slugger, who also told Dodgers fans, "You're the best!" during the celebration, admitted afterward that he has been a Manny on a mission since the Red Sox traded him at the July 31 deadline:

"When I left Boston, it was great," Ramirez said, "A new life. My dream come true. I wanted to show people that I play hard and I wanted to show people what I could do. I know a lot of people doubt me. Whatever people say out there, well, that's good because I came and I proved everybody wrong."

Not that Ramirez was glued to a television set like most of his teammates. He wasn't in the clubhouse when [Arizona lost and] the Dodgers clinched, learning about what transpired only when he was told by someone in a Dodger Stadium elevator.

"The main goal is to get in," Ramirez said. "It doesn't matter about the champagne or how you find out."

Would he want to face the Red Sox in the World Series?

"Wait, wait, wait," Ramirez said. "We're going too fast."

Well, of course. But don't tell us the thought of a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series matchup hasn't already crossed your mind.

A couple of other LA Times stories covering the clincher:

Bill Plaschke, in a column about the Dodgers' surreal day, refers to Ramirez as "a surprising gift in the clubhouse and a monster hitter on the field," while T.J. Simers focuses on manager Joe Torre's redemption. Also, in a notebook, Bill Shaikin notes that Derek Lowe "is rested and ready" to start Game 1 of the NLDS.

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