Last night Hanley Ramirez was removed from the Marlins-Diamondbacks game by Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez for not hustling on a defensive play. (More on that here, including video of incident.)
As the Marlins have a day game today, Ramirez addressed the media about the incident Tuesday morning:
It’s his (Manager Fredi Gonzalez) team. He does whatever he (expletive) wants. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s brutal.
That’s OK. He (Gonzalez) doesn’t understand that (playing hurt). He never played in the big leagues.”
Gonzalez responded to Ramirez’s comment about him not understanding the situation because he never played in the big leagues.
“He’s right. But I know how to play the game. I played six years in the minor leagues and I know what it takes to play this game and I know the effort it takes to play this game and I know it’s hard to play this game. That’s it.
Case you’re wondering, it appears the entire organization, from Ramirez’s teammates to owner Jeffery Loria, are firmly in Fredi’s corner.
Capozzi has this from “clubhouse leader” Wes Helms on Ramirez:
To just flat-out not hustle, that’s one of the things, I can’t cope with that. That’s one of my pet peeves. I can’t stand two things in baseball: Guys who don’t hustle and guys who don’t work. We’re trying to go to the World Series here. We’ve got to have all 25 guys on the same path.
“I can’t overlook it. I know people say that’s just the way he is. But you know what? That’s not the way it is. That’s not the way the game’s supposed to be played. And that’s what we want from Hanley.
“We want him to be that guy that goes out there everyday and we can sit back and says that‘s who he is – he’s the one who goes out there everyday and busts his but and does anything he can for this team. That right there will earn the respect of not only his teammates but everybody in the league.”
Does he have to come in here and apologize to everybody?
“It would be good. I know I would. It would be good to hear it from him.
“I was in Atlanta when the (John) Rocker thing went on. He was made to do the apology , but when he apologized to the whole team and held a 30-minute meeting, it gives you a little sense of easement. Kind of puts it to rest a little bit. Because right now when you don’t hear that, there’s still anger built up inside of you.
“One of the best things to cure anybody is to talk about it. It would be nice. It would be.”
Okay, invoking John Rocker’s apology might be a little overboard, but you get the point.
On a possible apology, Ramirez said this to Capozzi:
Do you plan to apologize to the team?
One of your teammates suggested an apology might be good if you did that.
They thought that you were dogging it chasing that ball.
“We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don’t apologize.’’
Those comments were made before Gonzalez made it clear on the record that Ramirez would have to apologize.
The irony of Ramirez’s comments about his injury and Gonzalez never having played in the majors is that part of being a big leaguer is overcoming the compulsion to play hurt when it might injure the team’s chances of winning. Something obviously lost on Ramirez.