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Manny gets a haircut, then goes hitless

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  August 15, 2008 09:12 AM

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Manny gets a haircut
Manny trimmed his hair a bit before last night's game. (FSN screen image courtesy of Al Belcuore)

Our long national nightmare is over. Manny Ramirez got a haircut before last night's Dodgers-Phillies game in LA. Sort of. "He was within the rules of cleaning it up a little bit," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. From today's AP story:

Manny Ramirez got a haircut. (AP)
"One inch, half-an-inch," Ramirez said regarding the cleanup. "It's still long. If I come back next year, it will be shorter."

The slugging outfielder, a free agent after this season, said a local barber did the job.

"One of my friends recommended him," Ramirez said, adding it took "maybe five minutes, 10 minutes." ...

"I was in the principal's office right now," Ramirez said upon emerging from Torre's office some three hours before the Dodgers faced the Philadelphia Phillies. "(Torre) told me he's fine, for now."

When asked what that meant, Ramirez said: "Ask him. I've got to go stretch."

Said Torre: "He came in and showed me. As Billy Crystal said in `Analyze That,' it's a process. He took a little bit off. It's within the rules of cleaning it up a little bit. Right now, it's around his shoulders. It's not covering his name up. We'll continue to monitor it."

Ramirez said he plans to get his next haircut before spring training.

"He haunts me with this," Torre said. "He says every time he gets a hit, it's the hair. I say it's the ability. He knows as well as everybody else around here that his ability is special. He's a character."

So did Manny's production drop after trimming back his dreadlocks? Yes. The hot-hitting Ramirez, who hit safely in 11 of his first 12 games as a Dodger, went 0-for-3 with an intentional walk in last night's 3-1 Dodgers' win against the Phillies.

Following the game, Dodgers manager Joe Torre apparently did not appreciate being asked if Manny's trim had anything to do with his hitless night at Chavez Ravine.

"I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer," Torre said. "He's a great player, and it would be an insult to his ability for me to say it's the hair. I'm not going to go there. I really don't like to joke about somebody's ability. There's been so many jokes connected with Manny that I think it's time we really recognize him for what he's all about."

"He haunts me with this," Torre said. "He said, 'It's the hair.' Every time he gets a hit he tells me, 'It's the hair.' He's been funny. I continue to tell him, I say, 'If it was the hair, I would have snuck into your apartment when you were in Boston and shaved your head.' I said, 'It's your ability.'"

More on Manny's trim from today's LA Times:

In the days leading up to the haircut, Torre jokingly said he would be run out of town if Ramirez stopped hitting, especially with the Dodgers starting to sell Ramirez-style dreadlock wigs in their team stores this week. Torre said Ramirez has needled him on the subject recently, telling him, "It's the hair," whenever he got a hit.

Earlier in the week, T.J. Simers of the LA Times had reported that a deal had been reached to cut Manny's hair with the proceeds going to a Dodgers charity.

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