Another month passes us by and the postseason creeps closer. This month, the National League has captured my attention...
Diamond of August: Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Before Manny Ramirez was traded to the L.A. Dodgers, I had the opportunity to watch him play one of his last games as a part of the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. The Manny I saw in Boston was not the Manny that appeared in Dodger blue.
In the month of August, No. 99 had 44 hits, scored 21 runs, hit nine home runs, 29 RBI, .508 on-base percentage, and sported a .736 slugging percentage. All this while he established a .415 batting average in his first month on the West Coast.
Numbers say plenty, but in Manny’s case, his presence also contributed to the Dodgers’ success.
On Aug. 1, the Dodgers were in second place, three games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. As of today, Sept. 8, the Dodgers are leading the NL West by a game-and-a-half.
For the month of August, the man with the ultra-baggy uniform gets the nod as the Diamond of the Month.
Cubic Zirconia of August: Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks
Just like any other Oakland Athletic that performs well, Dan Haren was traded as he reigned as a fan favorite in Oakland. In 2008, Haren made his way to the NL as part of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In August, however, the 2007 All-Star Game starter was not as effective as he used to be.
Last month, Haren went 3-2 with a 5.63 ERA. On Aug. 9, he made his earliest exit since Apr. 23 (before his Sept. 5 start) after 5.1 innings. He also gave up 55 hits—23 more hits than the second most he’s given up.
Once a diamond, now a cubic zirconia, whose team is in second place.
Sparkly Icing on August’s Cake: Shane Victorino, Philadelphia Phillies
Being as superstitious as a baseball player, I need to throw a member of the Phillies in as August’s Sparkly Icing. Look at my previous picks, and you may understand why.
There’s something endearing about Shane Victorino and his double-flapped batting helmet. It’s charming and rouses giggles from the teenage girl in me. He’s the crazy prankster that can be annoying but is always the life of the party.
Victorino’s high energy is addicting. As I follow my favorite NL East team, I look forward to seeing his ADD-like mannerisms and mega-watt smile.
The thing that tops it off? He’s a base stealer. Yummy.