Jewish Journal

Baseball as religion: Manny is Samson, Torre his Delilah

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 5, 2008 | 3:07 pm

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Suddenly my friends find the Dodgers worth watching again.

Yes, the most frustrating thing about being a Los Angeles sports fan—to be clear, I hate the Lakers—is that you often feel you’re flying solo until your team gets hot and half the city starts showing up at games and sporting suspiciously crisp jerseys and baseball caps. This is, of course, now the case in Chavez Ravine, where the Dodgers went from being lucky to be in the pitiful NL West, where they still have a chance of winning the division, to a serious threat to make a playoff run. And it’s all because of one last minute nearly free acquisition and a few dozen dreadlocks that would make Bob Marley jealous.

Manny Ramirez has spent three games in Dodger blue, and all he’s done is go 8 for 13 with two home runs and five runs batted in. And the McCourts don’t have to pay him a dime. Compare that with $18 million-a-year Andruw Jones, who is batting .161 and has hit two dingers all season.

Ramirez, in short order, has fulfilled what Jones failed to do. And T.J. Simers, the Los Angeles Times’ sharp-tongued and extra-crotchety sports columnist, doesn’t want Dodgers skipper Joe Torre to screw things up by forcing Manny to tip-toe his clean-cut Yankee line.

I haven’t come up with a nickname for Torre yet, but Delilah is under strong consideration.

Right now the Dodgers have Samson batting cleanup, and it’s just a fact, if he cuts his hair—he loses his strength and becomes Juan Pierre.

I mention the jawbone of an ass, and I would imagine Gary Matthews is a little nervous about what I might write next, but it’s just what Samson was swinging when he was hitting everything out of sight.

“Manny’s helped us win two games and who knows how many more,” Derek Lowe says, and yet Delilah’s thinking clippers, and that’s what the Dodgers will be, all right, without Samson.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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