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Dodgertown fans disappointed in Manny Ramirez

May 7, 2009 |  4:38 pm

Manny Ramirez’s 50-game suspension for allegedly taking a banned substance was met with disbelief and disappointment in Dodgertown.

At L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, Wallace Hampton, a 60-year-old retired accountant, hopes Ramirez is telling the truth. Ramirez said he was taking medication for a personal health issue, unaware it was banned by professional baseball's drug policy.

“I hope it’s legit,” Hampton said, adding that the 50-game suspension would cost the Dodgers.

Over near Staples Center, Albert Lawrence, 51, said the news was a double blow to him.

“First he tried to hold out,” Lawrence said, referring to Ramirez's contract negotiations earlier this year. “And now this. It makes the fans feel inconsequential.”

A fan for 30 years, Lawrence said the news was hard to believe.

“I love the guy,” he said. “I’ve been impressed by his performance so far, but this is poor taste on his part.”

Dressed in a blue Dodgers shirt, Peter Avila, 29, said he was disappointed.

“It’s Mannywood,” Avila said. “He’s a big inspiration to the team.”

Avila said he was about to leave home for work when a friend called him on the telephone and told him the bad news. Looking around and rubbing his forehead, Avila could not find words to express his feelings.

“It’s hard to say, but it is what it is,” Avila said. “But we’re a strong team. In fact, this will make us stronger; it will motivate us more.”

Waiting at a downtown car wash, Gerardo Ortiz said he was not surprised.

“Why would Manny be the only one who wouldn’t be using?” Ortiz asked. “The best power hitter. Well, there you go.”

The revelation came a day after the Dodgers won their 13th straight game, setting a record for a winning streak at home.

“There should be an asterisk next to it,” Ortiz said. “Wouldn’t that be considered cheating anyway? He played most of those games.”

Some fans were baffled by Ramirez taking such a risk.

“He was considered a guarantee in the Hall of Fame, and now he labeled himself the same as Alex Rodriguez, Jose Conseco, Barry Bonds,” Ortiz said. “It’s a sad day for L.A., a sad day for the Dodgers.”

-- Ruben Vives