Has Hanley Ramirez Brought a New Passion to the Dodgers?

For several weeks, the Dodgers appeared to be going through the motions. Yes, beset by injuries, many games saw a rag-tag collection of journeymen and Triple-A players masquerading as Dodgers, but even the “real” Dodgers were seemingly emotionless and robotic as they gave away their early season lead to the Giants.

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But for a couple of days now – since the new money-bagged front office made the Ramirez deal picking up his hugh contract, there seems to be a brand new excitement and dedication on the field. Players are hitting in the clutch, baserunners are taking the extra base, Hanley and others are telling themselves they can score – and even running through stop signs – when a few days ago they might have cruised into third, and they are risking life and limb making plays in the field.

And they are winning. Winning in San Francisco.

But it seems that there has been an attitude change. The team just looks like a winning major league team, unlike what I saw and wrote about in June and most of July. I mean, they were shut out in five of six games at one point (“A Dodger Tradition That Lives On: The June Swoon”)!

Of course a healthy and now hot Matt Kemp doesn’t hurt, and Chad Billingsley’s return to form and two quality starts from newcomer Steve Fife have made big marks on the starting rotation.

They only have a two game winning streak, but like I said, its the attitude and the passion and the little things that were missing. Will they keep it up? Who knows?

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