Confirmed: Ramirez Will Apologize, Play Today

Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, benched by manager Fredi Gonzalez for lack of hustle and a poor attitude, reportedly said Wednesday that he plans to apologize to the team before the Fish face the St. Louis Cardinals today.

Fredi Gonzalez Speaks To Media In St. Louis About Hanley Flap

(Gonzalez has confirmed Ramirez in lineup for today  - see update below)

In response to the benching and his subsequent comments about Gonzalez, Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com Wednesday:

I’m sorry that all this got so ugly. My intent was not to cause a distraction. I’m sorry that things got this heated. The team, the fans don’t deserve it. We are all professionals here and we’re pulling for the same side. I’ll try to close this chapter and focus on playing baseball.”

Ramirez also clarified his comments about Gonzalez having never played in the major leagues.

Tuesday Ramirez said of his manager:

He (Gonzalez) doesn’t understand that (about playing hurt). He never played in the big leagues.”

Ramirez defended those remarks today to ESPNDeportes.com:

“I do not want to start saying that I misunderstood or something like that, but when I said that Fredi did not play baseball I referred to the fact that I got in the middle of the game.

“I was referring to the fact that major league in every corner there are cameras that gather every gesture and every move and nobody wants to be portrayed to be reprimanded. I was not trying to belittle or denigrate the manager because they did not play baseball.

“In short, what I was saying is that in baseball there are different ways of doing things like they are in the minor leagues.”

Wednesday morning, Gonzalez said he’d be surprised if Ramirez wasn’t in the lineup against the Cardinals today. The Marlins manager had previously said Ramirez would not play again until he apologized to the team.

Gonzalez added to 790 The Ticket in Miami today: “I could care less about mine, if he apologizes to me or not, but I think he needes to address his teammates a little bit. When that happens, we are good to go.

UPDATE: (5:38p ET): Joe Capozzi of the PALM BEACH POST reports from St. Louis that Ramirez is in the starting lineup for the Marlins today after a five minute meeting with manager Fredi Gonzales.

Capozzi added that Ramirez will apologize to his teammates today and that the shortstop will not be addressing the matter with the media for now.

Gonzalez to Capozzi after meeting with Ramirez and solving the situation: “The bond may be closer b/w me & Hanley.”