Manny swarmed again by press, fans

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Another night in Taiwan, another red carpet for Manny Ramirez.

The Dodgers slugger was swarmed again by the Taiwanese press as he hosted a question and answer session with fans at a local batting cage Saturday night in Taipei.

"No, they're not crazy, they're just like me," Ramirez said when asked about the enthusiasm of the Taiwanese fans who've been dizzily following him around this island nation since he and the Dodgers touched down here late Thursday night.

"I've got some idols that I like [too]. If somebody asks me for an autograph that doesnt mean that they're crazy, they just like that person."

The second game of the three-game friendly series against the Taiwanese Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars was rained out Saturday afternoon, leaving his teammates free for the night. Ramirez though seemed to enjoy the adulation, even offering to take extra photos with kids in the audience at the end of the event.

He was not however, in the mood to dance.

One of the young fans wearing a wig with his trademark dreadlocks asked him what kind of music he liked and whether he liked to sing.

"I don't sing, but I like to dance. I'm a good dancer," he said. "Mostly salsa, merengue, Spanish music, some hip-hop.

"But I need some music and a partner."

On cue, music started blasting on the in-house speakers and the emcee implored Ramirez to show off his skills.

Ramirez laughed, then turned to an assistant to who handed him a pair of Dodgers Thundersticks to clap together.

"I've enjoyed myself here," Ramirez said. "The people over here have treated me with respect and I've had fun."

Ramona Shelburne is a writer and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.