Ramirez finally cuts hair

LOS ANGELES -- The best-known dreadlocks in these parts got a little shorter Thursday.

Heeding the request of his manager, Manny Ramirez got a haircut, but as teammate Jeff Kent said with a smile, holding his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart: "Yeah, about that much."

"One inch, half an inch," Ramirez said. "It's still long. If I come back next year, it will be shorter."

The slugging outfielder, a free agent after this season, said a local barber did the job.

"One of my friends recommended him," Ramirez said, adding it took "maybe five minutes, 10 minutes."

After the Dodgers acquired Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox on July 31, manager Joe Torre said he asked Ramirez to "clean it up a little bit."

"I was in the principal's office right now," Ramirez said upon emerging from Torre's office some three hours before the Dodgers faced the Philadelphia Phillies. "[Torre] told me he's fine, for now."

When asked what that meant, Ramirez said: "Ask him. I've got to go stretch."

Said Torre: "He came in and showed me. As Billy Crystal said in 'Analyze That,' it's a process. He took a little bit off. It's within the rules of cleaning it up a little bit. Right now, it's around his shoulders. It's not covering his name up. We'll continue to monitor it."

Ramirez said he plans to get his next haircut before spring training.

"He haunts me with this," Torre said. "He says every time he gets a hit, it's the hair. I say it's the ability. He knows as well as everybody else around here that his ability is special. He's a character."

Ramirez's teammates didn't seem to care much.

"It's just some hair," outfielder Matt Kemp said.

"Ha, I doubt it," catcher Russell Martin replied when asked if the change might have a negative impact on Ramirez, who entered Thursday night's game hitting .467 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 12 games with the Dodgers.