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Hanley Ramirez's attitude problems are not new

May 18, 2010, 11:22 AM EDT

hanley headshot.JPGTo top off what has become a Hanley Ramirez morning, let us take a walk down memory lane — way back to last October — to Jorge Arangure’s profile of Ramirez for ESPN, in which Ramirez’s attitude — though, to be fair, not his work ethic — was cast into serious doubt.

And let’s be clear about this: there are two separate things happening with Hanley Ramirez at the moment. On the one hand we have last night’s incident, which was an example of a guy not playing hard.  That could have and should have ended last night with the benching, some conciliatory words and a good night’s sleep.

Today’s unapologetic garbage from Ramirez about how he doesn’t respect Fredi Gonzalez because he never played in the big leagues is a matter of attitude — not hustle — and it’s on par with what Arangure wrote about last fall.  It’s also much, much worse for the Marlins than any amount of lollygagging can ever be.

  1. Joe - May 18, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Remember it’s not okay to say that Hanley lacks “hustle” :)

  2. Mike G. - May 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    http://www.fishstripes.com/2010/5/18/1476688/hanleys-attitude
    This is a pretty good summary of Hanley’s problems as well.
    You’re dead on, too, Craig about how this is now a bigger problem. Lots of players have bad ABs or moments where they aren’t “giving their all.” But this morning seems systemic of a larger problem that’s going to need to be addressed by the Marlins. No player – no matter how great he is on the field – is bigger than the team or the game.

  3. michael standish - May 18, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    I’m going to leave any cheap “Hanley being Hanley” remarks to my role model, The Old Gator.

  4. Old Gator - May 18, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    That’s just Hanley being Hanley.

  5. michael standish - May 18, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Now that Old Gator’s warmed up, I wonder if he could do some kind of soccer riff involving a corner kick by Ramirez that Canseco headers for a score?

  6. Steve C - May 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Disclaimer: I could be making every word of what follows up, but for some reason I think it is true to some degree.
    These attitude problems were a factor in the Red Sox decision to trade Hanley et al in exchange for Beckett and Lowell. Hanley had a lot of trouble in the Sox minor league system, some believe it was his attitude others think that the cultural differences he experienced within the organization were to blame. As with most things it is most likely a combination of the two.
    Captch: mogridge ago

  7. Old Gator - May 18, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Last season, when Dan Uggla decided to shoot his mouth off in Hanley’s direction, I was stuck in traffic on the Palmetto Expressway – which at rush hour is akin to being a tapeworm in a constipated glutton – and decided to call in the radio talk show wherein a discussion of the “Hanley problem” (as opposed, for example, to the “Uggla problem”) was currently underway. Mind you, about the only time I ever do call in to these idiocy-fests is when I’m stuck on the Palmetto – normally, I find listening to a few tracks off Charley Parker Plays the Blues rather more edifying about even baseball than most talk radio. On this occasion, though, the Chihuahua himself, taking a break from his usual indulgence in discussing old movies (about which he sounds far more authoritative than he does when talking baseball), was honing his spinning skills trying to sound like he was actually responding to questions about Uggla and Ramirez without really responding to them. This talent for evasion, I suppose, is why Loria keeps him around, aside from his being family by marriage or some such thing; it was, after all, the Chihuahua who coined the term “market adjustment” as a euphemism for stripping the payroll down to the point where Loria could pay it out in handfulls of coins. I called in, got the producer or whomever guards the gate, and was asked what I wanted to say to the Feesh’s prince of doubletalk. I said I wanted to ask him if he thought Uggla shouldn’t go pick on somebody who was batting a hundred points and change lower than he was. I was placed on hold and left there, and there I remain to this day. Ah well.
    .
    I never did work in an environment where “chemistry” was significant; most university faculty departments, like many other professionally balkanized working environments, are in dire need of adult supervision. I don’t see why a baseball clubhouse ought to be any different, and from the sound of it, most aren’t. And why else? These are guys who play a child’s game for grotesquely higher stakes than most professions undertaken in deadly earnest, like police work or firefighting. The most famous example of professional excellence achieved despite (or, who knows, maybe because of) unceasing juvenility had to be the fightin’ Oakland A’s of yore. For every “We are Family” team out there, there must be twenty Houses of York in cleats. The Borg pocketed its ’77 Series while enduring the metastatic ego of Reggie Jackson. The ’86 Mutts brawled their way through a runaway season (see The Bad Guys Won for a great look at that memorable year). The ’88 Bums spent an entire season living in terror that if they screwed up Kirk Gibson would break them into little pieces. And how would you have liked to dog it in front of Ty Cobb prior to health reform?
    .
    Except for the malign gaze of Scrooge McLoria, this is a tempest in a teapot. From everything I’ve heard, Miguel Cabrera was both more obnoxious and a lot less enjoyable to have around. An excuse to unload a contract like Hanley’s would surely be welcome under most circumstances, except that unless it was a bribe – and paying out a bribe would be a course of extreme last resort for McLoria – that crass-to-the-max “342″ amulent he got Hanley looks like a token of genuine affection and admiration. So no, I don’t think that, unless this gets much worse, Hanley is going anywhere. Wes Helm may well be the current Gandalf of the Feesh, but Hanley is the franchise. The Old Wizard may expectorate platitudes about this K-Mart team going to the World Series, but face it: without Hanley, this team doesn’t have a delusion of respectability left and not even a hecatomb of sacrificed goats presided over by the ranking Santera or houngan in Macondo could get them there.
    .
    Does Scrooge McLoria finally give a crap whether this team wins on the field as long as it remains beaucoup profitable? Who really knows? I think he does care – I was sitting a couple of rows behind him when Pudge thrust up the ball to show he still had it after tagging out J. T. Snow and the look on McLoria’s face was as ecstatic as any little kid’s who ever found what he had been dreaming of all year waiting under the Christmas Tree – but I also think he unrealistically expects, thanks to the two-edged Miracle of ’03, to be able to discount his way there yet again. And as long as the owner yet harbors that fond hallucination, Hanley is, I think, quite a few sulks and tantrums and a very protracted slump removed from going anywhere. I see Uggla gone long before, and quite honestly, I think that Fredi better find some way to win back that little bit of respect Hanley claims to have lost – much less win consistently – or it’s his ass first.

  8. Old Gator - May 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    I don’t do backandforthandbackandforthandbackandforthball jokes, much as I’d love to oblige you. I had to endure enough “football” games, much less cricket, to indulge my British wife – and managed to deal with it only because I knew once we got back to the States that would be nothing but a dull ache in the memory. Were I so inclined, and of course this is all hypothetical, I would be more likely to default to W. C. Fields and snark that I know a lot of kids I’d like to kick into the corner. Children are horrible.
    .
    Sorry if I sound cranky this afternoon. Weather and airline hub connections don’t mix, and even without a volcano to screw things up (oh, I just can’t wait for Yellowstone to blow), it was a long time gettin’ home from up north night before last.

  9. d - May 18, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Steve C is correct, there were issues in AAA with him. he was wanting to get the Ramirez treatment (ala Manny). There were some articles written about it.
    outfox retention – really?

  10. michael standish - May 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Old Gator is being too modest: Fields is an excellent default position (among other things, he made the excellent point that children — rather than being horrible — are delicious with mustard).

  11. FunkUniversity - May 18, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    I support Ramirez 100%. The other side of this coin is when players make phoney and unnecessary dives and flops for flyballs just to the shows WEB GEMS or PREMIER PLAYS OF THE DAY. Do they have to apologize to their teammates for the disgraceful way that they are playing the game. C’mon. You may want to read what I think is a very good article about this. I wrote it. It’s at:
    http://funks2.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/joe-dimaggio-never-fell-down/

  12. Brade - May 18, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    I will agree that Ramirez made a big mistake on that play and especially his later disrespect for the manager, but after reading that ESPN piece, I totally agree with him about the utter stupidity of the “short hair” rule. Teams with personal grooming rules are always asking for trouble (or are trying to be the Yankees without the prestige), as it’s a childish way to treat grown men. Maybe Hanley’s ongoing frustrations can be traced to this policy? I don’t know, but the Marlins need to take a serious look at whether such a dumb policy is worth the headache.

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