Manny Ramirez played three innings in left field in the Dodgers loss to the Brewers Wednesday, his first time in the field since feeling tightness in his left hamstring.
At the plate he was solid for the second straight day, going 1 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. After the game he said, “I don’t worry about the plate, I worry about my leg.”
Ramirez said he felt fine after testing his leg by playing three games in three days, but added that he might only be 50 percent by Opening Day.
Yes, 50 percent.
Ramirez was asked how he expected to be feeling on Opening Day and said “maybe like 50 percent, but who cares? It’s a long season, that’s the way I look at it.”
While that kind of quote might sound a bit alarming, don’t read too much into it. I interpreted Manny as saying “Look, it’s March 25th. There’s a 162 games in the season. I’ll be fine, even if I’m not 100 percent on Opening Day.”
Others who speak Mannyese better than I do thought the same thing. Remember his infamous “Who cares?” line after the Red Sox fell behind three games to one in the ALCS against the Indians a few years ago? Well, I think he uses the “Who cares?” line to mean “it’s no big deal” or “it doesn’t matter that much.”
And when he says he’s 50 percent, that’s a bit open to interpretation too. Before the game, Joe Torre said Manny had been “chomping at the bit” to get in the game and wanted to play through the hamstring tightness, but sat out as a precaution.
Basically, it doesn’t seem like all that big of a deal. The main focus is on sharpening up, as safely as possible, before Opening Day.