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Things really have changed for the Dodgers if the kids are ready to challenge Manny Ramirez

April 26, 2010 | 11:02 am

Manny_300 The Dodgers have enough problems right now, they don’t need any mini-faux controversy.

It was just a one-liner in Dylan Hernandez’s Los Angeles Times game story on the team’s 1-0 loss to the Nationals, but it couldn’t help but grab your attention:

There were even some grumblings in the clubhouse about how Ramirez was allowed to return early to Los Angeles.

Really? That’s an issue in the team locker room? They have time to worry about Manny hopping a flight to head home three days before the team?

My, the young bucks really are growing up, but I’m thinking they need to spread their wings elsewhere. Maybe Manny’s not talking to them, either.

Ideally, it is best for players on the disabled list like Manny, to remain with the team. On board with that.

But Manny is hardly the only disabled player to fly home early from a trip. And the decision was apparently made by management, which wanted the MRI of his strained calf taken in Washington and Manny to be examined by team doctor Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Monday.

It isn’t as if he went to the Bahamas for the weekend. He’s from New York, chances are he would have liked to return for the next three days. Manager Joe Torre also cited a potential New York media circus as being another factor in sending him home.

Works for me. What’s interesting is that a clubhouse that adored Manny when he arrived in 2008 and consistently followed his lead, would now feel ready to question him.

Would love to tell you what Manny thinks about all this, of course, but he’s still not talking.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Manny Ramirez walks off the field with a trainer after straining his right calf against the Reds on Thursday. Credit: Al Behrman / Associated Press.