As if booting the ball, then loafing after it wasn’t bad enough. As if being pulled from the game and publicly chastised by your manager wasn’t enough. As if your own teammates piling on, saying that they need to see more from you wasn’t enough.
Apparently, Hanley Ramirez wants more.
Baseball has a Code to enforce respect. Publicly, this happens almost exclusively between opposing teams. Not this time.
After pulling Ramirez from a game for egregiously loafing after a ball, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez went against the grain in calling out his star player in the press—although it’s easy to suspect that was one of his final options, not his first.
At that point, to use a baseball term, Ramirez blew the save.
Tuesday, he became a verbal pyromaniac, throwing incendiary quote atop incendiary quote. A sampling, taken from the Palm Beach Post:
- On taking time to get past the situation: “For what?
- On his manager: “Who’s that?”
- On his plans to apologize: “To who?” One of your teammates suggested an apology might be good if you did that. “Do what?” Apologize. “For what?”
- On “dogging it” on the field: “We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don’t apologize.”
Various teammates, most notably Wes Helms, have spoken about the need for Ramirez to step it up at this time. The sheer amount of insider comments of the type that are almost universally kept behind closed clubhouse doors is astounding. It’s a public intervention.
For his part, Gonzalez continued to push the impression that messages sent through the media are the only ones Ramirez receives.
“I think he needs to talk to his teammates a little bit,” he told the Post. “Whatever feelings he has for me are fine and dandy. We don’t have to get along but I think he needs to get along with the 24 other guys on his team and when that happens we’ll run him back in there. If he sets his ego aside, I think it will be good.”
One can only hope.
Update: Ramirez apologizes, the Marlins move on.