It's been hard to conjure sympathy for Hanley Ramirez, what with his reputation for being stingy with apologies. Even after he finally said he was sorry for "dogging it" on that pop fly he kicked against the Dbacks, this article came out, with details of Ramirez getting a locker room scolding from a couple of Hall of Famers, Andre Dawson and Tony Perez.
Let him have it, Hawk!
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"I said, 'I'm going to give it to you raw. I'm not telling you how to play the game. You have a ton of ability, but there's more than just going out and having a ton of ability. With that comes some ground rules, some things that you will learn as you go along the way.'"
Dawson added: " 'But you've got to start thinking about setting an example and having your teammates respect you in the manner that they should. That act that you put on, that's poor. That's not going to cut it.' "
No one is taking Ramirez's side in this. But I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.
However wonderful it is to be a young, incredibly talented baseball player making millions of dollars a year, it must make it awfully hard to keep a level head. And it must be a complete shock to the system to suddenly have all that adulation whisked away based on a single play in a baseball game.
So in a way, I can understand why Ramirez pouted in the 24 hours after his benching. He deserved all the criticism that came after it. But now it's time to acknowledge that the kid has been humbled enough, to give the him the benefit of the doubt that he's learned from the episode and that it'll make him a better player, teammate and human being.