03/30/09 8:52 PM ET
Manny's first spring error is a trip
Dodgers left fielder slips, stumbles on track chasing fly ball
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"My Gold Glove is in jeopardy," joked the dreadlocked one.
Even second baseman Orlando Hudson, who has three real Gold Gloves, committed an error in the Dodgers' 9-5 loss to the A's. And Clayton Kershaw couldn't get his curveball over the plate, allowing seven runs in the first two innings.
But the most-watched clip will be Ramirez running into the left-center gap to reach Jack Cust's warning-track drive, only to drop the ball. And that wasn't all. He stumbled and tripped and slipped, landing butt-first onto the track as a run scored.
Ramirez said neither his hamstring nor pride was injured.
"I just dropped the ball," Ramirez said. "I need more practice. I need to play more games out there. I haven't had many balls hit to me, so I'm not used to fly balls yet. I'd like to get more fly balls from the other team. I take a lot of fly balls in the morning, but it's not the same. I need to get in the rhythm of playing left field."
Because of that, Ramirez will play in Wednesday's getaway Cactus League finale for the Dodgers against the Giants in Scottsdale on Wednesday before heading to Los Angeles. He will miss Tuesday's desert drive to Tucson for the game with Arizona.
Having arrived almost three weeks late because of a contract stalemate, then missing a week of games with a tight hamstring, Ramirez has played in nine of the Dodgers' 31 games and only five in left field for a total of 23 innings, or less than three full games. In those five games, Ramirez has had only five chances, three on Monday.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.