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Manny Ramirez Returns to LA Dodgers

3/7/2009
Los Angeles Dodgers fans are expected to turn out in their droves this Fourth of July weekend as slugger Manny Ramirez returns from a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.

Thousands of Dodgers fans are expected to make the trip to a sold-out Petco Park, home of rivals the San Diego Padres, to show their support for Ramirez as the two teams face-off in the opener of a three-game series.

Other than playfully announcing to reporters “I’m baaaack!,” after re-signing with his former team during spring training, Ramirez had largely avoided reporters throughout the duration of his minor league rehab assignment and it is unknown whether the star will formally address the media before the game.

Certainly, when Ramirez does step up to the plate he will get a vociferous response from both the travelling Dodgers fans and the Padres home support, who have vowed not to give him an easy ride in his first competitive game of the summer.

However, with so many Dodgers fans preparing to welcome back one of their heroes, even in a hostile stadium Ramirez is sure to feel like he’s back where he belongs. Cla Meredith, a Padres reliever, said ahead of his return: "I wouldn't be lying to say that when he steps to the plate here he's going to probably feel like he's at home".
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