Fredi's Right; Hanley's Wrong. But Can Marlins Manager Afford to Make an Enemy?
Hanley Ramirez is acting like a diva following his being benched last night for an error. Check that; it wasn't the error so much as Ramirez jogging casually after the ball he kicked into the outfield, while opposing base-runners were hustling toward home plate.
Now he's in a tiff with the man who benched him, manager Fredi Gonzalez. Check out the interview transcript posted on the Palm Beach Post baseball blog:
Do you want some time to get past it?
To talk to Fredi.
"Oh yeah? I'm just gonna play the game..."
And I just love this part:
Did you lose respect for Fredi?
"A little bit. We got 24 more guys out there. Hopefully they can do the same things I do. They're wearing the Marlins uniform.''
Total power play. Ramirez is effectively daring Gonzalez to bench him, the franchise player.
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That leaves Gonzalez with two options: Apologize to Ramirez -- and lose the respect of the other Marlins players. Or bench Ramirez -- alienating the player the Marlins need to win.
Either way, the episode puts Gonzalez's job in jeopardy. If he's not man enough to stand up to the shortstop, then he doesn't deserve to be a big-league manager. Then again, if Ramirez continues to pout, the Marlins front office is going to want to find a manager who can motivate him.
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