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Original Issue

Baseball Prospectus Unconventional Wisdom

The Dodgers' recent surge has been credited largely to Manny Ramirez. The often controversial slugger, acquired on July 31 from Boston, is eviscerating the NL: a .385/.472/.736 line with 14 home runs in just 148 at bats at week's end. While Ramirez's output has been superb, however, it's been nearly matched of late by one of his fellow L.A. outfielders. Andre Ethier (right) was initially benched after the Ramirez deal for abysmal centerfielders Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones, a decision that undercut much of the value of obtaining Manny. On Aug. 5 Joe Torre reinserted Ethier into the lineup; since then the 26-year-old has hit .376/.443/.729 with nine homers. Considering that Ethier is an average defensive corner outfielder and Ramirez a poor one, Ethier, and not Ramirez, has been L.A.'s best player since Aug. 1.