David Ortiz told Hanley Ramirez to apologize

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hanley headshot.JPGWhy 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.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.