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Yanks relieved Manny changing leagues

Yanks relieved Manny changing leagues

NEW YORK -- Manny Ramirez has enjoyed a long, successful history against the Yankees. In 200 games against New York -- the most he's played against any team -- he has a .321 batting average, with 55 homers and 163 RBIs.

So the Yankees are somewhat relieved they won't face him as often after the outfielder was traded to the West Coast on Thursday in a three-team move that sent him from American League East foe Boston to the National League West's Los Angeles Dodgers.

"He can go to the other league, that's all right," manager Joe Girardi said, adding, "Manny has always been a big part of any offense that he's been in."

The Yankees couldn't exactly celebrate, though.

As part of the deal, Boston received outfielder Jason Bay from Pittsburgh. Bay, 29, is a two-time All-Star who is batting .282 with 20 homers and 64 RBIs. He posted career highs of 35 homers and 109 RBIs in 2006, his second All-Star season.

"I'm not sure there's a big dropoff there," Mike Mussina said.

But Mussina might benefit from seeing Ramirez with less regularity. He hasn't faced any batter more than Ramirez, who batted .277 against him, with nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 101 at-bats. On April 12, Ramirez hit a crucial dinger off Mussina in Boston's 4-3 win. Five days later, Ramirez blasted two home runs off him in a 7-5 Red Sox win.

And it wasn't just Ramirez who gave such pitchers as Mussina trouble. It was the back-to-back presence of Ramirez and designated hitter David Ortiz in the Boston lineup.

"When you get a good lineup and you get two guys of that ability, it makes them tough," Mussina said. "It makes them who they've been. You're not going to find many teams who can put two guys like that in the lineup back-to-back.

"That was as tough as back-to-back guys in the lineup as you're going to see," he added. "I've probably faced some good ones, and they're right up there."

Even without Ramirez, Boston's "still a very good team," Mussina said. "They're still going to score a ton of runs."

Added Derek Jeter: "To be quite honest with you, we have to worry about ourselves. We can't worry about what Boston does. Obviously, if they did it, they did it for a reason. They know their reasons. He's a great hitter, so I'm happy we don't have to face him anymore, but other than that, we can't really concern ourselves with Boston."

Many saw Ramirez's departure coming, as he grew increasingly displeased leading up to the Trade Deadline.

"Nothing surprises me about Boston," said Johnny Damon, a former Red Sox outfielder. "Not too many players leave there happy. It's been very well documented over the years -- Mike Greenwell, [Roger] Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Nomar [Garciaparra]."

Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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