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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.

Hanley Ramirez Needs a Big Glass of Shut the Heck Up

We here at LBS have already told you about Hanley Ramirez’s lack of effort to retrieve a ball and save two runs from scoring in Monday’s game. I understand that Ramirez fouled a ball off his shin earlier in the game and it slowed him down, but I wish he would have taken it to the mouth because he needs to stop running it.

Ramirez is obviously upset that he was yanked from Monday’s game. If I were managing the team, I would have done the same thing Fredi Gonzalez did. No matter what level you are playing in — the majors or stick ball — you go after that ball and do whatever it takes to help out your teammates. Hanley’s lack of effort was an example of complete laziness. But Ramirez doesn’t think so, and here’s what he had to say about his skipper’s move to take him out:

“It’s his team. He does whatever he (expletive) wants. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s brutal.”

It gets better. Here he justifies not going after the ball because of shin and says manager Fredi Gonzalez can’t relate:

“That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues.”

You give me a headache Mr. Ramirez. Take a slice of humble pie and then maybe you’ll realize that the world does not revolve around you. You are getting paid pretty well by an organization that expects you to perform and help your team win ball games. You are not the manager — Gonzalez is. If I were him, I’d bench you until you realize that. Regardless of how you feel about the decision your manager made, there’s no need to come out and make those disrespectful remarks. Maybe he should be sent back to the little leagues where team work is taught.

Sources:
Hanley Ramirez won’t apologize to Florida Marlins teammates, lost “little bit” of respect for manager [Palm Beach Post]

Hanley Ramirez’s Effort in Question Again

Last year it was Hanley Ramirez’s effort being questioned by teammate Dan Uggla in September because Hanley left a game with a hamstring injury. On Monday night, Hanley’s effort was questioned by manager Fredi Gonzalez who yanked Ramirez from the game. Hanley hammered a ball off his shin in the first inning, giving him a bruise and making him slower down the line when he grounded into a double play later in the at-bat. He still stayed in the game but was removed after his blunder and lack of effort in the top of the 2nd.

A bloop single by Tony Abreu dropped in shallow left and Ramirez accidentally kicked it down the left field line. Instead of hustling after the booted ball, Ramirez took his sweet time getting to it, allowing two runs to score and Abreu to reach third. The shin injury didn’t prevent Hanley from going after the pop up so there was no reason (other than embarrassment) why Ramirez shouldn’t have gone after the ball with his normal speed. Gonzalez confirmed that Hanley was removed for a lack of effort:

“There are 24 guys out there that are busting their butts. Cody Ross got hit with a ball, 95 miles per hour. It wasn’t thrown any slower. He stayed in the game making diving plays and battling, got two hits and an RBI. There’s some injuries there [with Ramirez]. But we expect an effort from 25 guys on this team and when that doesn’t happen we have to do something.”

“You guys call him the marquee guy. I got 25 guys that are all wearing the same uniform wearing all the same Marlins insignia in the front and I think its disappointing if anybody did it. Not just one guy.”

Anyone who supports team play over individualism will appreciate Fredi’s last comment. Hanley is their marquee player but that doesn’t mean he’s above playing hard; no player should take it easy. Look Hanley, I know what it’s like to commit an embarrassing error and feel like all eyes are on you as you just bleeped up; it’s not too dissimilar from the walk of shame. Nobody’s proud of their situation when they screw up in public but you suck it up and realize the embarrassment will be over shortly.

Sources:
Florida Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez benched in loss to D’backs [Miami Herald]

Dan Uggla Questions Hanley Ramirez’s Toughness, Desire to Win

Hanley Ramirez has been in and out of the lineup this season with various nagging injuries. He’s had a few incidents where he didn’t run balls out but he’s still firmly the best player on the Marlins. He’s also leading the NL in batting average but in an 0-for-14 slump. On Tuesday night he left the Marlins/Braves game with a hamstring injury and that drew the ire of his teammates.

Dan Uggla, his double-play partner, was the most agressive, actually getting into a verbal argument with Hanley on Tuesday. Uggla says Hanley’s not toughening up and sticking it out in the middle of a wild card hunt and instead trying to protect his stats. Hanley says he’s actually hurt and that he is only 10% healthy, therefore he shouldn’t be playing.

I’m not around the guys enough to make a judgment about the situation and I certainly don’t know how hurt Hanley is. I do know this much: Hanley is their best player and they are trying to win, so he should be out there trying to help. At the same point, if he’s that bad then sitting is the right move. Did anyone give Michael Young crap for going down with a hammy for the Rangers? Sometimes injuries happen. I’ll give Hanley the benefit of the doubt for now but he better be doing his best to try and help that team win.