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.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.