D-Backs notebook: Team's new rival: 'West Coast Yankees' - East Valley Tribune: Sports

D-Backs notebook: Team's new rival: 'West Coast Yankees'

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 5:41 pm | Updated: 11:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

LOS ANGELES - The Diamondbacks' closest NL West rival is no longer the Los Angeles Dodgers, Randy Johnson joked.

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"It's almost like the New York Yankees' West Coast team. The West Coast Yankees," Johnson said after the Dodgers acquired All-Star outfielder Manny Ramirez from Boston for two minor leaguers Thursday.

"They have a lot of money already committed to players, but they can go out and get more players. They have so much depth now.

"I think they are trying to be able to slug their way past some teams. They have some good pitching. They just haven't been able to score runs."

The Dodgers acquired Ramirez in a three-team trade with Pittsburgh that did not get legs until a few hours before thetrading deadline Thursday.

"Manny being Manny means 40 home runs and 150 RBIs," one player said.

But as Conor Jackson said, "I don't think one guy makes a difference on a baseball team, personally.

"As much as it is an individual sport, when it comes down in a pennant race, it takes more than one individual."

The Diamondbacks did their trade deadline work early, acquiring first baseman Tony Clark at the All-Star break and relief pitcher Jon Rauch four days later.

"As we hoped, we're playing better, swinging the bats better and pitching better," said general manager Josh Byrnes, who said the D-Backs had no trades to make after Atlanta opted to take the Angels' offer of Casey Kotchman and a mid-level prospect for Mark Teixeira.

"We feel like our club is capable of winning the division, and if we get there we can be a good October team."

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he expects Ramirez to start against Johnson today, but was loath to say the deal dramatically shifts the balance of power in the NL West.

"Let's not put the cart before the horse," Colletti said.

The Diamondbacks say the final two months will be fun.

"(Ramirez) is definitely a great hitter," Chad Tracy said.

"But like I've said, we like our team. We have to deal with the situation, but we still feel we're the best team in the division."

SHORT HOPS

Juan Cruz (oblique) joined the team Thursday and is to be activated today, Melvin said, three days after throwing 96 to 97 mph during his 32-pitch outing for Triple-A Tucson. He has been out since July 3 ...

Justin Upton (oblique) took 20 swings in the batting cage during early hitting and will probably do that again today before taking full batting practice, Melvin said ...

Doug Slaten (right knee) will throw a bullpen session today before going out on a rehab assignment.

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