On July 31, the unthinkable happened. Dodgers' fans were in a state of Nirvana. Manny Ramirez, the impact player that the Dodgers needed so desperately, was coming to Hollywood.
The Boston Red Sox had grown tired of Manny's antics in Boston and shipped him off to Southern California in a three-team trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
What kind of impact has Manny had on this team? The answer is quite simple.
Manny is that feared power slugger in the lineup, a role that was supposed to be filled by the mega flop of this year, Andruw Jones. Jones was supposed to provide the same type of impact as Manny, but he failed horrendously.
Instead, Manny has feasted on National League pitching, launching balls over the left-field wall with ease. He seems to get that timely hit when the Dodgers need it the most.
The Dodgers have not had somebody of this caliber since Gary Sheffield (sadly, he has grown into a player with a huge ego)!
I was at Manny's first game as a Dodger. The atmosphere was electric. The fans that were at the stadium waited in anticipation for No. 99 to come out on deck. The game was sold out in a heartbeat. I have never seen a player make this much of an impact on a Dodgers team.
The trade-deadline deals always make the national headlines, but the BIG headlines usually never happen to the Dodgers.
Manny also makes everyone else around him better. This is apparent with Andre Ethier, who has hit in front of Manny. He has since gone on a tear and hasn't looked back since.
Manny also keeps the clubhouse loose by blasting his music throughout it. He is always on base one way or another.
In Boston, they said he didn't hustle. The Manny I've observed gives it 110 percent! Sure, he may be something of a liability in left field, but what fielder isn't? Manny can be Manny here.
One of the most irritating things is the stuff coming out of the East Coast. Curt Schilling is constantly running his mouth about pretty much anyone and anything. I find it unbelievable that he has all of these things to say yet he has not pitched at all this season.
Boston won their championships with Manny. If they fail this year, everyone will know why. Ortiz does not have the same type of protection. The power void is supposed to be filled by Jason Bay, but he is no Manny. We will see what happens in October.
So, is Manny the key to our October? You betcha! As long as Manny's bat and dreadlocks (even though he cut them recently) keep propelling the Dodgers throughout the playoffs, be prepared for a great run! What a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Dodgers!