Manny was Manny in Game 1
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez and pitcher Derek Lowe know a thing or two about winning a World Championship (the two have three World Series rings between them). They also know a couple of things about what some fans and media perceive as curses.
Curses, jinxes, call it whatever you like. As former Red Sox players instrumental in helping Boston end their 86-year World Series championship drought in 2004, Ramirez and Lowe know what “it” is. And they don’t buy into any of it.
“I don’t believe in it, I really don’t,” Lowe told reporters after the Dodgers’ 7-2 crushing of the Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. “I think its 2008 and the Cubs are playing for 2008.
“Just like in ’04 … all you care about is that year. You can’t change history; you can’t worry about what has happened before. A lot of us had nothing to do with it so there’s no sense worrying about the ‘jinxes.’ A lot of that is media-driven.”
“Like D-Lowe said, we don’t believe in any curse,” said Ramirez. “Whatever happened in the past for the Cubs is in the past. They’ve got a great team. Whatever happened (Wednesday) is over. They’re going to come (Thursday) and play everybody hard and you’ve got to keep going.
“There is no curse,” Ramirez said flatly.
Even if there was, Ramirez and Lowe didn’t need the benefit of one Wednesday. Lowe served up a two-run Mark DeRosa home run to the opposite field in the second inning but settled in to toss four straight scoreless innings afterward. He allowed seven hits in six innings, striking out six batters for the win.
Ramirez continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 performance that included a solo home run in the seventh inning off Cubs reliever Sean Marshall. More importantly, he took advantage of Cubs starter Ryan Dempster’s wildness in the fifth inning by drawing a two-out walk after being down in the count, 0-2. That led to a James Loney grand slam that took away any momentum the Cubs might have had.
Ramirez was asked if he and his teammates could feel a sense of dread coming from the home crowd.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” Ramirez said of playing at Wrigley. “It’s like when you’re playing in Boston. They’re the best team in the National League and anything can happen. We’ve just got to come (Thursday) and play hard, and live day by day and play everybody hard.”