As the Dominican Republic danced through the night, the Dodgers held their breath. They must wait to see if their shortstop can play on opening day.
Hanley Ramirez injured his right thumb in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, in which the Dominican beat Puerto Rico, 3-0. Ramirez is expected to undergo an MRI exam Wednesday in Arizona, according to Dominican Republic General Manager Moises Alou.
"I don't think it's bad," Dominican coach Alfredo Griffin said.
Ramirez, playing third base for the Dominican, jammed the thumb while diving for a ground ball in the third inning. He remained in the game, even delivering a single in the fourth inning, but left after five innings.
Ramirez declined comment through a team spokesman. Dominican Manager Tony Pena said he removed Ramirez for precautionary reasons, even though Ramirez told Pena he could have gone on.
Dee Gordon would be the likely replacement as Dodgers shortstop, albeit with none of the middle-of-the-order power the Dodgers expect from Ramirez.
If Ramirez is seriously injured, it would mark the second such thumb injury in the National League West this week. Chase Headley, the third baseman and best hitter on the San Diego Padres, is expected to sit out four to six weeks because of a small fracture at the tip of his left thumb.
Ramirez sat out the final four innings of the game, but not the party afterward. He was spotted, in a splint, waving a national flag as the Dominican players partied on the field after the final out. Dominican leader Robinson Cano and Puerto Rico leader Yadier Molina had agreed beforehand that the players from both teams would celebrate together no matter which team won, and indeed the Puerto Ricans stayed on the field as the Dominicans received their victory medals.
"We are brothers," Dominican reliever Octavio Dotel said. "We are friends."
Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez injures right thumb in WBC final
Los Angeles Times | Mar 20