- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly would like to keep the expectations for his new third baseman as realistic as possible. In other words, keep those comparisons to the Dodgers midseason acquisition of Manny Ramirez in 2008 to a minimum.
Let him get adjusted to Los Angeles before you expect him to go on the kind of tear Manny Ramirez did in the second half of 2008.
Let him learn his teammates' names, take a few more balls at shortstop and settle into the Dodgers clubhouse before you start re-naming Mannywood, Hanleywood.
"The blaze that Manny came in with, it's hard to duplicate," Mattingly said of Manny Ramirez' 2008 season with the Dodgers in which he hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 53 games. "I'd rather Hanley just come in, be himself, get comfortable here and look at this as more of a long-term situation."
But Ramirez -- Hanley Ramirez, that is -- has no such qualms.
Immediately after the trade was reached last week, Ramirez wrote "Hanleywood" on his Twitter account.
Mattingly laughed when informed of that statement.
"I'm now in my boring manager, stay-humble days," Mattingly joked. "I'm trying to take any expectations off of him and let him just go play. But the more he wants, that's fine. Just like Matt [Kemp]. Matt's great like that. He can handle all that [the expectations], but I just kind of want [Hanley Ramirez] to grow into it."
On Monday Ramirez met the Los Angeles media for the first time before the Dodgers game against the Diamondbacks.
"I'm really excited to be here," he said. "Coming in here as a visiting player, this was always one of the loudest crowds.
"Being with the team [over the weekend], the energy on the team is great. They are together. It's been unbelievable in the dugout, everyone is cheering for each other. The pitchers, the coaches, the bullpen pitchers, the environment is great."
When asked if it was much different than the situation in the Miami Marlins clubhouse, Ramirez politely said, "That's in the past now."