Monday, May 20th, 2019

Hanley Ramirez: Wake Up!

May 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

I watched a replay of the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez  loafing after a ball that he booted into left field during Monday’s game against the D-backs.  I was shocked at the lack of hustle.

For those of you who have missed all the excitement, Ramirez was drifting back from his shortstop postion to grab a Texas leaguer and accidentally kicked the ball toward the left field corner.  His pursuit after the ball left a lot to be desired, allowed 2 runs to score. Ramirez’ manager, Fredi Gonzalez, benched him for his lack of effort.  Gonzalez’ benching of Ramirez, arguably one of the best players in the majors, is being praised.

Instead of learning a lesson and moving on (see Jimmy Rollins example from 2008 below), Hanley decided to deride Gonzalez because he never played in the majors.  Manager Fredi Gonzalez, however, made a brief mistep when he countered Ramirez’ remarks in the press, basically saying  Hanley is correct that I didn’t play in the majors, but I know the kind of effort needed to be successful. As they say, if you roll around in the mud with a pig, pretty soon you start to smell yourself.

Hear Marlins Manager Fredi Gonzales explain the situation on MLB

Ethan Skolnick of Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper asked a very pertinent question in Why couldn’t Hanley Ramirez be more like Jimmy Rollins?

In 2008, Jimmy Rollins didn’t run out a short pop fly.

After the pop fly was muffed, and Rollins had to scramble to get to first, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel benched him.

Here’s what Rollins said after the benching:

“He has two rules — be on time and hustle; and I broke one of them today,” Rollins said. “I know better. Sometimes the manager gets you. I just have to go out there and make sure I don’t do it again. It’s something you learn from.”

Here’s more of the story:

The two met after the game — a reason for Manuel’s delay in speaking to reporters — though the skipper declined to elaborate and abruptly ended the postgame news conference.

Rollins received the message clearly and said he’s not mad for the way it was sent.

“It’s my fault,” Rollins said. “That’s like breaking the law and getting mad when the police show up.”

Shortly after being removed from the game, Rollins returned to the bench and cheered for his teammates.

“We’re a team,” Rollins said. “I’m not going to be a distraction that way. I did what I did, OK, but I still have to pull for my team. It’s not their fault. They shouldn’t have to worry about that becoming a distraction.”

That’s how a leader handles a situation.

But Ramirez is not that. We’ve known that for a while. He’s an elite talent, but he’s not a face of a franchise, and he’s not someone others should follow. And he showed that again today. And he’s put his manager in an impossible position. I’ll say this for Fredi Gonzalez — I haven’t been his biggest fan (I’m sort of lukewarm toward his work), but he earned more respect with his handling of this situation than with anything else he’s done as Marlins manager.

Hear ESPN’s Baseball Tonight discuss the incident…

Ramirez was benched again for Tuesday’s game, which was won 8-0 by the Marlins.  I would say that was a “statement game” for Gonzalez and the team.  Now it is Hanley’s turn.

Marlins’ management needs to get a handle on this immediately.  They need to settle this behind closed doors.  They can’t continue the “he said, she said” silliness in the press for all to hear.  However, most of all, Hanley needs a wake up call.  I would think Tuesday’s benching should do the trick.  Stay tuned.

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