Last Thursday, Hanley Ramirez was quoted as saying that “it would be a good move” for the Marlins to sign Jose Reyes. He sidestepped questions about a position change, though he did note that he considered himself a shortstop.
Seems that that’s pretty much the limit of his diplomatic skills, because Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweeted that Ramirez was “not at all pleased” with a possible move to third base. In an article by Spencer posted last night, Ramirez is quoted as saying “I’m the shortstop. I’ve always been a shortstop.” Spencer added that Ramirez and Reyes — despite being portrayed as friends by some — are actually not friendly with one another.
Sort of a poor-man’s Jeter-A-Rod, eh? Except in this instance the new guy, assuming Reyes signs with Miami, isn’t going to switch positions and the old guy does not have one scintilla of the diplomatic skills and goodwill built up to be able to successfully pull off such intransigence.
As Spencer notes, there have been a lot of shortstops who have made the switch to third, with A-Rod and Cal Ripken Jr. being the most notable. Ramirez is not so great a shortstop that he will stick at short long term anyway, and his bat is strong enough to play anywhere, third base included.
But if his pouting skills are as strong as his hitting skills, this could be a fairly ugly situation for Ozzie Guillen to have to manage.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.