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Ramirez joins Dodgers ready to play

March 5, 2009 at 9:26 PM
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GLENDALE, Ariz., March 5 (UPI) -- Manny Ramirez, one day after agreeing to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, said Thursday he and his teammates "have some unfinished business."

Ramirez became involved in prolonged contract discussions with the Dodgers before finally signing a deal worth a reported $45 million. He appeared for the first time Thursday at the Dodgers' spring training base and flashed a big smile at the start of his news conference.

"I'm baaaaack," he said. "I'm happy to be back. It's better late than never. Now I'm here and going to give it all I got."

The Dodgers obtained Ramirez, 36, from Boston in a trade last July. In 53 regular-season games with Los Angeles, he batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBI.

Los Angeles captured the National League West Division title but was knocked out of the playoffs by eventual World Series champion Philadelphia.

"We have some unfinished business," Ramirez said. "I'm here to play."

"We all know what ability he brings to the table every day," Los Angeles Manager Joe Torre said. "The fact is that he has such a great work ethic and he wanted to share it with the (younger players). His presence here has changed the personality of our ball club."

Ramirez is 17th on baseball's all-time home run list with 527.

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