Hanley awarded diamond-studded ".342" bling

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hanley headshot.JPGHanley Ramirez won his first National League batting titled in 2009, compiling a career-high .342 batting average over 652 plate appearances.  He finished second in NL MVP voting behind Albert Pujols and just ahead of Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, but on Saturday got his own little piece of hardware.

According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria handed the young shortstop a diamond-studded “.342” necklace yesterday outside of the Marlins’ spring clubhouse.  It was a total shock for Ramirez, who expressed his gratitude after receiving the flashy gift:

“I’m gonna save it in my safe,” said Ramirez, who wore the necklace out
of the ballpark after Saturday’s game. “Once in a while I’m going to
wear it. Every time I see that I’m going to remember Jeffrey.”

It’s a wonderful story, but here’s the best part: On April 9, the Marlins’ home opener against the Dodgers, 5,000 replica necklaces will be handed out to fans.  Sure beats a magnetic calendar.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.