Hanley Ramirez still hesitant about move to third base

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The Marlins have repeatedly said that they have no intention to trade Hanley Ramirez following the addition of shortstop Jose Reyes, but it’s clear that he’s not yet on board with moving to third base.

Marlins president Larry Beinfest made some interesting comments to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald yesterday, admitting that “it may take a little bit of time for him to get comfortable” with the idea of switching positions.

“The conversations we’ve had, we’re going to keep between us. But there’s been quite a bit of communication. He’s excited about playing for Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie is excited to have him. Everyone reacts to change differently.

“Even though we communicated with him and let him know what our intentions were in terms of Jose, he was the shortstop for six years, a very good one. We’ve asked him to move to third. Sometimes it just takes a little time for things to sink in. I think he recognizes we’re a better team with Jose.”

Another Marlins’ official told Jackson that they would like Ramirez to publicly endorse the signing of Reyes and a move to third base, but they haven’t pressured him to do so. The hope is that he’ll come around to the idea before spring training, but if the Marlins continue to face resistance, it stands to reason that they’ll explore the possibility of trading him.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.