The most important thing you’ll read about hot stove rumors today

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Sam Miller of the OC Register explains how one tiny bit of nothing about anything can turn into a rumor of a player being connected with a given team in the space of a few tweets, using the example of a Ryan Doumit rumor to trace the path from ether to concrete, such as it is.

It’s funny and illuminating in the extreme.  Mostly because it shows how the various components of the media — actual reporters + bloggers/aggregators + team-specific bloggers can each carry out their own particular mandate responsibly enough and yet we still end up with a pretty wrong rumor out there.

Ultimately I just thank heavens that this racket is mostly a winter time-killing thing and not, you know, nuclear security or something.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.