Why did Hanley Ramirez apologize to his manager and teammates yesterday? Partially, I bet, to get back in the lineup, and partially, I hope, because he realized he was being a jerk. But according to a tweet from Peter Gammons last night, a lot of it may have had to do with Big Papi:
David Ortiz’s Tuesday text exchanges with Hanley
Ramirez convinced Hanley to appologize and move on
Given that Ortiz was quoted yesterday as being critical of the way Fredi Gonzalez was handling the whole affair — a take with which I agreed — this was a nice stroke of pragmatism from the big guy.
Of course, if Gammons was right and Ortiz’s texts — and not his manager’s statements — were the prime motivator, we shouldn’t hold our breaths for a new Hanley Ramirez to emerge from this experience. Ramirez’s takeway from this was probably more about how to go along to get along, not about playing hard and respecting authority figures.
UPDATE: I had missed this, but apparently a stern talking-to by Andre Dawson and Tony Perez helped matters as well.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.