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Hanley gets benched for not hustling


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MIAMI -- Hanley Ramirez was benched by Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez for not hustling after a ball during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

Last year's NL batting champion, Ramirez committed a costly error in the second inning after Tony Abreu's looper dropped near him in short left field. The star shortstop accidentally kicked the ball about 100 feet toward the left-field corner and loafed after it, allowing two runners to score as Abreu advanced to third.

Ramirez, who eventually retrieved the ball, was replaced by Brian Barden the next inning. After the game, Gonzalez confirmed that Ramirez was pulled for not hustling.

Ramirez also was shaken up after fouling Edwin Jackson's pitch off his left shin in the first inning and was tended to by a trainer. Moments later, he bounced into an inning-ending double play.

"Hanley left the game because we felt -- he got smoked in the ankle -- but we felt whether he was hurt or not hurt or whatever it was, we felt that the effort wasn't there that we wanted," Gonzalez said. "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.

"There are some injuries there, but we expect an effort from 25 guys on this team and when that doesn't happen, we have got to do something," he added.

Ramirez was not available for comment after Florida's 5-1 loss, which snapped a four-game winning streak.

"They don't leave the game without my permission, so I told him he needed to go inside and we are going to run Barden out there, who has a sprained ankle by the way, and he battled for eight innings in there with a sprained ankle probably killing him, but that's the effort we're looking at as an organization, as a team, and that's that," Gonzalez said.

A two-time All-Star, Ramirez is hitting .293 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs. He is the Marlins' highest-paid player after signing a $70 million, six-year contract in 2008.

"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."

When asked whether there would be any additional punishment for Ramirez, Gonzalez responded: "You mean more embarrassment than being taken out of a major league game?"

Gonzalez also was asked if Ramirez would be in the lineup Tuesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks.

"We'll see," the manager said.

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Hanley responds

Angry at being benched Monday night for his lack of hustle, Florida Marlins star shortstop Hanley Ramirez said Tuesday he has no plans to apologize to his teammates and has lost some respect for manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Ramirez, the 2009 NL batting champion, committed a costly error in the second inning of the Marlins' loss to the Diamondbacks. After Tony Abreu's looper dropped near him in short left field, he accidentally kicked the ball about 100 feet toward the left-field corner and loafed after it, allowing two runners to score as Abreu advanced to third.

"It's his team. He can do whatever he [expletive] wants," Ramirez, referring to his benching, told reporters Tuesday.

The Marlins again play the Diamondbacks on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. Ramirez is not in the lineup for the game.

Ramirez said he didn't see the need to apologize to the team.

"We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don't apologize," Ramirez told reporters, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Ramirez might have a point: The team's 36 errors in 39 games lead the major leagues.

Earlier Tuesday, Wes Helms said that Ramirez needed to lead by example.

"A lot of guys, coaches, staff have told Hanley. With his talent, he definitely needs to be the leader of this team," Helms told reporters, according to MLB.com. "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."

Ramirez also was shaken up in the first inning after fouling Arizona starter Edwin Jackson's pitch off his left shin in the first inning and was tended to by a trainer.

Ramirez said he wasn't giving up on the play, but his injury limited him.

"I wasn't trying to give up," Ramirez said, according to MLB.com. "That was the hardest I could go after the ball."

Ramirez took a shot at his manager on Tuesday for removing him from the game.

"That's OK. He doesn't understand that. He never played in the big leagues," Ramirez said, according to the Post.

On Monday, Gonzalez explained why he decided to bench Ramirez.

"Hanley left the game because we felt -- he got smoked in the ankle -- but we felt whether he was hurt or not hurt or whatever it was, we felt that the effort wasn't there that we wanted," Gonzalez said. "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.

"There are some injuries there, but we expect an effort from 25 guys on this team and when that doesn't happen, we have got to do something," he added.

A two-time All-Star, Ramirez is hitting .293 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs. He is the Marlins' highest-paid player after signing a $70 million, six-year contract in 2008.

"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."

When asked whether there would be any additional punishment for Ramirez, Gonzalez responded: "You mean more embarrassment than being taken out of a major league game?"

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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I did read the other day on fox sports that the Marlins owner wanted to fire Freddi after last season but his son talked him out of it so with this now in the cards I would bet the Braves are loving it cause Freddi will probably be available

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I did read the other day on fox sports that the Marlins owner wanted to fire Freddi after last season but his son talked him out of it so with this now in the cards I would bet the Braves are loving it cause Freddi will probably be available

one can only hope. if he becomes available, he'll be snatched up quick.

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Gonzalez responded to Ramirez’s comment about him not understanding the situation because he never played in the big leagues.

“He’s right. But I know how to play the game. I played six years in the minor leagues and I know what it takes to play this game and I know the effort it takes to play this game and I know it’s hard to play this game. That’s it.

Gonzalez, according to Marlins reporter Joe Capozzi and Clark Spencer will not put Ramirez back in the lineup until the shortstop apologizes for his comments this morning.

Case you’re wondering, it appears the entire organization, from Ramirez’s teammates to owner Jeffery Loria, are firmly in Fredi’s corner.

Capozzi has this from “clubhouse leader” Wes Helms on Ramirez:

To just flat-out not hustle, that’s one of the things, I can’t cope with that. That’s one of my pet peeves. I can’t stand two things in baseball: Guys who don’t hustle and guys who don’t work. We’re trying to go to the World Series here. We’ve got to have all 25 guys on the same path.

“I can’t overlook it. I know people say that’s just the way he is. But you know what? That’s not the way it is. That’s not the way the game’s supposed to be played. And that’s what we want from Hanley.

“We want him to be that guy that goes out there everyday and we can sit back and says that‘s who he is – he’s the one who goes out there everyday and busts his but and does anything he can for this team. That right there will earn the respect of not only his teammates but everybody in the league.”

Does he have to come in here and apologize to everybody?

“It would be good. I know I would. It would be good to hear it from him.

“I was in Atlanta when the (John) Rocker thing went on. He was made to do the apology , but when he apologized to the whole team and held a 30-minute meeting, it gives you a little sense of easement. Kind of puts it to rest a little bit. Because right now when you don’t hear that, there’s still anger built up inside of you.

“One of the best things to cure anybody is to talk about it. It would be nice. It would be.”

Okay, invoking John Rocker’s apology might be a little overboard, but you get the point.

On a possible apology, Ramirez said this to Capozzi:

Do you plan to apologize to the team?

“To who?”

One of your teammates suggested an apology might be good if you did that.

“Do what?”

Apologize.

“For what?”

They thought that you were dogging it chasing that ball.

“We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don’t apologize.’’

Those comments were made before Gonzalez made it clear on the record that Ramirez would have to apologize.

The irony of Ramirez’s comments about his injury and Gonzalez never having played in the majors is that part of being a big leaguer is overcoming the compulsion to play hurt when it might injure the team’s chances of winning. Something obviously lost on Ramirez.

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