Hanley Ramirez is digging himself a deeper hole

38 Comments

Hanley Ramirez loafing.jpgUPDATE: Here’s a transcript of Ramirez’s whole session with the media and additional comments from “clubhouse leader” Wes Helms.  Quick take: why would a reporter ask Ramirez if he had lose respect for Fredi Gonzalez? Sure, Ramirez could have answered it any way he wanted to, but that’s awfully leading, isn’t it?  That aside, it’s not like Ramirez was taken out of context or anything.  What started as a booted ball and a a moment of hustle impairment has revealed what is apparently a deeply divided clubhouse.  Stay tuned, kids, because this is about to get interesting.

10:50 A.M. OK, it was bad enough that he got sent packing from last night’s game, but now Hanley Ramirez is just going nuts.  According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Ramirez told reporters Tuesday morning that he “lost some
respect” for manager Fredi Gonzalez after Monday’s benching.

To which I’d respond: if you had any respect for him to begin with, Hanley, you wouldn’t have loafed after that ball to begin with. Our respect for you, however, is plummeting quite quickly, thank you.

Ramirez also
said that
Gonzalez
doesn’t understand playing through
pain because “he never played in the big leagues,” which may as well be code for “I don’t feel like I have to listen to anything my manager says because that excuse applies to absolutely everything.”

According to Capozzi’s game story last night, Marlins’ owner Jeff Loria was in Fredi Gonzalez’s office after the game.  How happy would Loria be if he had a legitimate excuse — say, clubhouse chaos — for trying to unload Hanley Ramirez’s $70 million contract?

And yes, I realize that would be monumentally stupid form a competitive point of view. But it is Jeff Loria we’re talking about here, and he’s not exactly immune from letting financial considerations trump competitive ones.  You can’t tell me that the thought hasn’t crossed his mind.

Must-read: A profile on former Rays prospect Brandon Martin, currently in jail for alleged murders of three men

Leave a comment

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times has an outstanding profile of former Rays prospect Brandon Martin, who is currently in jail for allegedly murdering three men nearly two years ago.

Fenno describes Martin’s erratic personality as he became a highly-touted baseball prospect who then descends into drug use. Friends described Martin has having completely changed into an unrecognizable person. Martin had repeated conflicts with friends and family such that police reports became common and he was placed in a psychiatric facility. Sadly, the facility only held him for less than 48 hours. He would allegedly murder three people upon returning home: his father, his brother-in-law, and a home security system contractor. Martin fled from police, who eventually caught up to him and subdued him with the help of a police dog.

Fenno’s profile is really worth a read, so click here to check it out.

Martin, 23, was selected by the Rays in the first round (38th overall) of the 2011 draft. He spent three years in the Rays’ system, reaching as high as Single-A Bowling Green.

Pedro Martinez: “If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado, as much as I love him.”

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
6 Comments

On Sunday, Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes was ejected for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado‘s head. It was revenge for a slide of Machado’s which ended up injuring Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Barnes was suspended four games.

Hall of Famer and former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez said that if he were in Barnes’ shoes, he would have also thrown at Machado, although not necessarily at his head. Via ESPN’s Scott Lauber:

If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado, as much as I love him. The only thing I would’ve done differently is probably bring the ball a little bit lower.

Martinez added that Machado “did not intend to hurt Pedroia. And I know that because I know Machado.” And he doesn’t think Barnes meant to throw at Machado’s head.

Martinez, of course, was certainly a pitcher who wasn’t afraid to pitch inside to batters and even hit a few of them when he felt he or his teammates had been wronged. This is an unfortunate part of baseball’s culture and the fact that it continues means that it will eventually result in someone being seriously hurt. It’s disappointing that Martinez isn’t willing to be a better role model now that his playing days are over. Martinez could have set an example for today’s pitchers by saying what Barnes did crossed a line. Getting a Hall of Famer’s seal of approval will only embolden players now when they feel they must defend their teammates’ honor.

The “tradition” of beaning batters to defend one’s teammates is anachronistic in today’s game, especially when Major League Baseball has made strides in so many other ways recently to protect players’ safety.