Marlins players are pretty happy to see Hanley Ramirez gone

75 Comments

Hanley Ramirez’s former Marlins teammates? Not sad to see him gone:

One player who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “There were a lot of smiles’’ in the Marlins clubhouse Wednesday morning, happiness because a player disliked by many in the organization — but protected by the front office for years because he was producing — was finally gone.

“They created a monster from a very good baseball player — gave him so much slack to do whatever the [expletive] he wanted because he was performing,’’ the player said.

“You can push some things aside when you’re hitting .340 with 40 home runs. You say ‘He’s a [jerk], but I can deal with it. … But when you’re not playing and you’re trying to be that same [jerk], it starts rubbing people the wrong way.’’

And Ozzie Guillen was pretty frank too:

Guillen, asked Wednesday what Ramirez’s absence would mean to the lineup, said, “Nothing. Because he wasn’t producing.”

It’s all on Jeff Loria, who protected Hanley Ramirez from any accountability. It was well-known in Miami that Ramirez was one of his favorites. He even bought him jewelry!  And when former manager Fredi Gonzalez tried to get some sort of control over Ramirez, disciplining him for slacking off and stuff, Gonzalez was undercut. Then he was fired.  And that’s no way to run a railroad.

(thanks to Old Gator for the links)

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
6 Comments

The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.