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Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes have been bonding over PlayStation

If you thought Hanley Ramirez being deferred to third base with the arrival of Jose Reyes in Miami caused a rift between the two, you thought wrong.

Even though the incumbent Ramirez originally expressed some dismay about being forced out of the starting shortstop role, the left side of the Marlins infield has been getting along just fine now that spring training is in full swing. In fact, the two have even become video-game buddies. At the end of most days, both All-Stars have been going to one of their apartments and firing up the PlayStation.

“The machine doesn’t allow us to play the same team, so I play with Boston, he plays with the Phillies,” Reyes said Thursday.

“Me and Hanley have a very good relationship and now that we’re on the same team, it’s even better.”

Well, as long as their games don’t end with one of them throwing the controller across the room and wanting to wring the other’s neck out — like I do when I play “Call of Duty” — this can’t be a bad thing at all. That’s such an Ozzie Guillen thing to do, anyway.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Steve Mitchell, US Presswire

Hanley Ramirez now says ‘Third base with the Marlins forever baby’

Until the season is underway, we have no way of knowing how Hanley Ramirez truly feels about playing third base for the Marlins. Jose Reyes is the team’s shortstop and Hanley can either deal with that or put up a stink. At the end of the day, it will be up to him. As for whether or not he’s on board with it, opinions have varied throughout the offseason. Earlier this week, Ozzie Guillen said Ramirez was not 100 percent on board with the move but would be by opening day. Franklin Mirabal, a writer for the Dominican Newspaper Hoy, then wrote a piece about how Hanley’s relationship with Reyes would inevitably be strained by the situation. Ramirez responded to the article with a series of tweets on Friday, which the Sun Sentinel translated.

“Folks, via this medium I want to let everyone know that what came out in the newspaper Hoy about me, the team and Guillen is a lie,” Ramirez wrote.

“And now what are you going to talk about if the whole world knows I’m going to play third base with the Marlins?” he added in a separate tweet. “Trying to soil my image with lies. Third base with the Marlins forever baby.”

Hanley then tweeted the photo you see above of him and Reyes hanging out at a golf course. At the moment, all is well. It’s fun to speculate about the situation getting ugly, but it’s tough to argue with, “Third base with the Marlins forever baby.” For now, Ramirez and Reyes appear to be looking forward to holding down the left side of the Marlins’ infield. Whether you believe Hanley or not, his Wednesday tweets should close the discussion — at least until the season begins.

Fist pound to Eye on Baseball

Ozzie Guillen says Hanley Ramirez not on board with move to third yet (Video)

In order for the Miami Marlins to be successful with their new manager in their new stadium, they will need Hanley Ramirez to be on board with his change of position. Ramirez is a shortstop. He has also been the Marlins’ best player for quite a few years. Now that Jose Reyes was signed to play his position, you can understand why Hanley may feel a bit insulted. While there have been reports that he has accepted the fact that he is the Marlins’ third baseman and Reyes is the shortstop, Ozzie Guillen said that is not yet the case. Check out this video from the Miami Herald:

“No, no,” Ozzie said when asked if Ramirez is 100 percent on board with moving to third base. “Hanley? I don’t think he’s 100 percent on board — not yet. From the last time I talked to him, no. I don’t expect him to be. I expect him to be 100 percent on board with this move when we play St. Louis (in the first game of the season). Right now, just let it be.”

“This is Hanley’s team, man. I said that even when we were going after Albert Pujols.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is the elephant in the room that could drown the fish this season. Ownership has spent plenty of money and we know Ozzie is capable of leading a team to a World Series, but Miami will suffer if Ramirez decides he wants his old position back.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Hanley Ramirez is Suddenly Open to Playing Third Base

From the moment the Marlins signed Jose Reyes to a monster contract, everyone knew there were potential issues looming with he and Hanley Ramirez on the same roster.  Both play the same position and both are quite good at it.  If both are still with the team come late March, new Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen is going to have to find room for his infield superstars.  At first, it sounded like Hanley would not be open to making a move to third base to accommodate Reyes.  However, it appears that Guillen has gotten through to him for the time being.

“I’ve spoken with (Ozzie) Guillen, and what we both want is to win with the Marlins,” Ramirez according to a Miami Herald translation of an Associated Press report. “When we get to January, we’ll see what happens with the position change and everything else. If it’s at third, fine. Wherever they put me, I’ll do it in order to win.

“I’m very happy, better than ever. We’re the new Marlins. I’m also a new Hanley. Good things are coming for this upcoming season.”

Whatever Ozzie said to Ramirez seems to have worked — for now. A couple months ago Hanley was adamant about remaining a shortstop. Those feelings don’t just disappear overnight because of a conversation he had with his new manager.  As we have seen on numerous occasions in the past, things are always easier in the locker room when teams are winning.  As long as the Marlins stay on a winning track, Ramirez might be happy at his new position.  If things start to go south, the situation could escalate in a hurry.  My gut tells me Miami won’t get through a full season without dealing with a frustrated Hanley.

Former Marlins Manager Edwin Rodriguez Questions Jose Reyes Signing

The shortstop situation with the Marlins is going to be one to monitor as the MLB season creeps closer. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins shortstop for the past six years. He also happened to be one of the best in the National League during that span. Only 27 years old and just now entering the prime of his career, the Marlins have asked Ramirez to move to third base to make room for the newly-acquired Jose Reyes. It remains to be seen how the situation will pan out, but former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez is skeptical.

“I think it’s going to be a very interesting situation, to say the least,” Rodriguez said during an interview with MLB Network Radio on Wednesday. “Knowing Hanley, he’s a very proud player. It’s going to be very hard for him to move out of shortstop. He’s a big league shortstop. He’s an All-Star shortstop. In my opinion I think they are going to have a tough time trying to convince him to move to third base. I think it’s going to be very interesting to watch how everything develops, how Reyes takes the front pages and how the people start talking about the All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes.

“In my opinion I don’t think that was the right move to sign Jose Reyes. You already have an All-Star shortstop. Why spend money on another All-Star shortstop?  Why not put the money in another player like Albert Pujols or somebody else, one front-line pitcher?”

Rodriguez only managed the Marlins for a short period from 2010 to 2011, but he was around long enough to become familiar with Ramirez’s ego. We already know Hanley does not want to move to third base, so as soon as the team hits a rough stretch it would not be surprising to see him start putting up a fuss.  At this point I wouldn’t be shocked if the Marlins are forced to deal Ramirez before the season begins. If that becomes necessary, it is fair to question whether or not bringing in Reyes was the right move.

H/T to the Sun-Sentinel for the story.

Hanley Ramirez Calls Jeff Conine ‘Chicken,’ Wants to be Next Mr. Marlin

Former longtime Marlins first baseman Jeff Conine called out Hanley Ramirez on the radio last week. Conine said Ramirez doesn’t work as hard as he should, and that he would probably trade him.

The criticism is nothing new for Hanley — just read this, this, and this to get caught up. But Hanley didn’t enjoy the public beatdown and he responded.

“I think he wants to be Mr. Marlin forever,” Ramirez said of Conine. “It won’t happen. I’m coming, baby. I think I’m going to be Mr. Marlin. That’s my goal now. I wasn’t thinking about that (before Conine’s comments).

“If he’s got a problem, just come over and talk to me like a man,” Ramirez said. “Don’t be a chicken, talking on the (radio), because whatever you say is going to stay out there.”

Hanley does have a point there. The problem is he’s taken criticism in the past but nothing seemed to change him. At least Conine has managed to motivate him.

Now Ramirez is talking about being the next Mr. Marlin and about becoming the first Marlin in the Hall of Fame. Conine’s comments weren’t respectful, but they may produce the desired effect, which is lighting a fire under Ramirez’s butt.

Hanley Ramirez Reportedly Called Out by Logan Morrison for Being Late

When Jack McKeon was hired by the Florida Marlins as the team’s interim manager Monday, his first order of business was to bench shortstop Hanley Ramirez for that day’s game. McKeon said he was benching Hanley for not running hard enough during Sunday’s game. A report in The Miami Herald posted Tuesday evening via Hardball Talk suggests McKeon may have benched Ramirez for a different reason.

The Herald reports that Hanley was last to arrive for McKeon’s meeting Monday when he addressed the team (the Palm Beach Post says he was late). Hanley says he shows up at 3:30 on game days, but the expectation was that players would arrive early for the new manager. Left fielder Logan Morrison reportedly ripped into Hanley for being late to the meeting. He also reportedly suggested that Hanley’s tardiness (he arrives to the park later than most teammates) is contributing to his poor batting.

Because I’m not around the team enough to know what time Ramirez arrives at the park each day (not to mention if it’s the same routine he employed during his All-Star seasons), I will leave that out. But I will say that showing up last for the new manager’s team meeting shows disrespect, so I can understand if that’s why he was benched.

What’s sad is that such a talented player continues to be involved in issues suggesting he’s not a good team leader. In 2009, Dan Uggla questioned his toughness and desire to win. Last year he was yanked for not hustling after a booted ball. Ramirez has shown he can be a great player, but as the franchise player he should also be a great team leader. It’s pretty indisputable that he’s not, and that is a shame.