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Dodgers keep Manny Ramirez on bench for third consecutive game and the yuks just keep coming

August 28, 2010 |  5:18 pm
Manny Ramirez was on the bench again Saturday.

Say what?

That big bat the team has been supposedly longing for since June, that dynamic hitter who makes everybody in the lineup better, the guy who needs to get his rhythm back, that great "presence" … is sitting out his third consecutive game?

This stinks to the baseball heavens. It offers no logic, only suspicion.

"This is just my dumb move," manager Joe Torre said to reporters in Denver.

OK, at least there’s something we can agree upon.

Otherwise, somebody get a reality check. If you going to keep Manny Ramirez, play him. Does anyone seriously believe the Dodgers have a more potent lineup playing Scott Podsednik over Manny?

"There is no reason I can give you that makes sense," Torre said. "A lot of what I do is a feel thing."

No reason that he can give us, is not the same as having no reason. The immediate suspicion is the Dodgers are afraid that if they play him he’ll get hurt and blow any deal they have going with the White Sox, who claimed him Friday.

The Dodgers have until Tuesday morning to either pull Manny back off the waiver wire, work a trade with the White Sox or elect to keep him.

The latter presumably would mean actually playing him. Or perhaps not.

In the eight days since Manny returned from the disabled list a week ago Saturday, he has played three times. That’s it. Three of seven games.

"It’s not easy sitting Manny down," Torre said.

Apparently it’s ridiculously easy.

Torre said he planned to meet with Manny to map out how much he could play over the season’s final month. I don’t know, I’m thinking it’s probably more often than three times every eight days.

"The one thing we want to do is make sure we can keep him on the field," Torre said. "We have to make a plan."

A plan, of course, being much different than a feel. Torre said he kept Manny on the bench Sunday because the team scored six runs Friday (though none through seven innings), he liked the energy Podsednik brought to the lineup and because the outfield is so cavernous in Denver.

Also because it’s the age of Aquarius.

Really, if Manny is that fragile, why would any team want him? Sitting him might actually sabotage a trade plan, unless of course the White Sox have asked Ned Colletti not to play him while they try to work out a deal.

"I’ve never told a manager at any point in time who to play, who not to play," Colletti said.

Torre wouldn’t even confirm that Manny would play Sunday. The guy Torre was saying just last week he would play as much as possible.

And now he can’t get into the lineup? With their season hanging by a thread?

Hope this makes sense by Tuesday, because my "feel thing’’ on Saturday is that it’s ludicrous.

-- Steve Dilbeck