Dodgers evaluate Angels' pesky Rally Monkey

By Janie Mccauley

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 28 2012 5:25 p.m. MST

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp throws during a spring training baseball workout in Phoenix, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. — There are clearly differing opinions of the Angels' Rally Monkey at Dodgers camp.

Slugger Matt Kemp? Scared of it. Manager Don Mattingly? Finds it funny.

The spunky monkey became a hot topic Tuesday at Camelback Ranch after the Dodgers' first day of full-squad workouts in the desert.

"I kind of like the Rally Monkey, I do. It's funny," said Mattingly, beginning his second season as manager in Los Angeles. "I try and tell guys, 'You guys should like the Rally Monkey because when the Rally Monkey comes out, then you've got a lead.' I'd rather have a lead than be behind. I like the Rally Monkey. Think about it. When you see the Rally Monkey, you're usually ahead. I like it when he comes out."

Mattingly discussed the Angels before and after practice, reminding everybody the Dodgers are L.A.'s true team.

"If you're in L.A., do you drive down to Anaheim to watch games?" Mattingly said. "(Owner Arte) Moreno's done a great job. It's an unbelievable change from when I first started going out there when I was in New York."

Mattingly's Dodgers had better get used to more of the pesky, jumping monkey bouncing around the video board. As usual, the Dodgers and Angels play six games during interleague play this season, three in Anaheim.

"''I don't like the Rally Monkey. I'm scared of the Rally Monkey," Kemp said. "You're out there in the outfield and the monkey just pops up on the screen, that's kind of scary."

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