Florida Marlins manager Freddy Gonzalez benched All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez after he jogged after a ball he kicked into left-field. Ramirez says he won’t apologize to teammates
Ramirez committed the error in the second inning of the 5-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The ball came off the bat of Tony Abreu, then dropped in right behind Ramirez, who then booted the ball allowing two runs to score.
In the clubhouse after the game, Ramirez offered up some glaring remarks concerning his manager. He told reporters that he did not care what the manager did with his team, and that Gonzalez didn’t understand his play because he has no major league experience as a player.
“It’s his team. He can do whatever he [expletive] wants,” said Ramirez of his manager.
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“That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues.”
Hanley also took a few shots at his teammates, saying that some of them are also failing to give full effort.
“We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don’t apologize,” complained Ramirez.
Teammates of Ramirez would like to see the 2009 National League batting champion take a more active leadership role with the team. Third baseman Wes Helms thinks Ramirez has the number, and the charisma to be the team’s vocal leader.
“Mentally. Vocally. Everything. For me, to be a leader of the team, you have to lead by example. If you just lead vocally, and don’t back it, I’m not saying you have to hit .300, it’s the way you handle yourself. That’s the way a true leader is. He definitely has the play to be a leader. But you want him to lead by example. It’s what you’re looking for,” Helms stated.
Ramirez was shaken up after a a foul ball hit him in the left shin. Ramirez blamed the early nick for his lack of hustle.
“I wasn’t trying to give up,” Ramirez said. “That was the hardest I could go after the ball.”
Gonzalez was obviously put-off by the shortstop’s comments, stating that he has a full team trying as hard as they can every night. He cited the effort of right fielder Cody Ross.
“There’s 24 guys out there that are busting their butts. Cody Ross got hit with a ball 95 mph and it wasn’t hit or thrown any slower and he stayed in the game making diving plays and battling, got two hits and an RBI.”
The Marlin’s manager could be disappointed with the attention shown to Ramirez since the shortstop signed a 70 million six-year contract to stay with the club until 2014.
“You guys call him a marquee guy,” Gonzalez said. “I got 25 guys all wearing the same uniform with all of the same Marlins insignia on the front and I think it’s disappointing if anybody did it, not just one guy.”
The Marlins play the Diamondbacks again in Miami Tuesday afternoon. Online Sportsbooks have the Marlins as favorites over the Diamondbacks despite the absence of Ramirez at -179.