by beth harris ap sports writer
Hanley Ramirez will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NL championship series despite a broken left rib.
"I'd do anything for this team," he said.
Ramirez was wearing a lightweight flak jacket as he took swings during batting practice and fielded groundballs before Monday night's game against the Cardinals. St. Louis leads the series 2-0.
"It's just for protection. They told me that if I want to play, I've got to wear it," he said. "They don't want anything worse to happen, so I'm just going to wear it."
He said team medical director Stan Conte left it up to him whether to play.
"I'm not feeling 100 percent, but I feel good enough to go out there tonight and get our first win," Ramirez said. "I took some painkiller to make it feel batter."
Manager Don Mattingly said a CT scan revealed Ramirez has a hairline fracture of his ribcage.
"It's not dangerous if he tries to play," Mattingly said. "It's just a painful thing and it could be a week, it could be two weeks before this thing is gone."
The Dodgers waited until after batting practice to post their lineup.
Mattingly said it was a busy 48 hours trying to do everything possible to get Ramirez on the field, including talking to the NFL about using the kind of padded protective gear worn by running backs.
Ramirez got hit by a pitch in Game 1, but stayed in for the entire 13 innings as the Dodgers lost 3-2. He batted .500 in the NL division series against Atlanta and tied the club's postseason record with six extra-base hits.
Outfielder Andre Ethier was a game-time decision. He's been bothered by shin splints, and the team planned to evaluate him during batting practice.
Ethier was limited to a pinch-hitting role in the Dodgers' 1-0 loss in Game 2. He has a .300 career batting average against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright.