Jeff “Mr. Marlin” Conine appeared on the ‘The Dan LeBatard Show’ on 790 The Ticket (WAXY) last week, and made some negative comments about Hanley Ramirez, shortstop of the Florida Marlins.
The comments from Conine accused Hanley of being lazy, regardless of his talent.
“I think that obviously Hanley is a phenomenal talent,” Conine said. “But as a guy that… I’m probably jealous too because I didn’t have that kind of talent, but I had to work extremely hard on a nightly basis to put my talent on the field. I think that there are some nights when he doesn’t work as hard as he should.”
Ramirez has been accused of being lazy often by fans and the sports community, saying if he worked hard, he has the Hall of Fame potential. Conine continued to say on the show that he would probably trade Ramirez if given the opportunity.
The 27-year-old struck back at Conine, saying “I think he wants to be Mr. Marlin forever. It won’t happen. I’m coming, baby. I think I’m going to be Mr. Marlin. That’s my goal now. I wasn’t thinking about that [before Conine's comments].”
“If he’s got a problem, just come over and talk to me like a man,” Ramirez said. “Don’t be a chicken, talking on the [radio], because whatever you say is going to stay out there.”
The timing of Conine’s comments were unexpected from Ramirez. “Why now? There are a lot of worse guys than me out there. But nobody knows because nobody pays attention. When I’m on the field, I’m just being me. I’m playing my game. It’s how I’ve got to play. Nobody’s going to change me. What I get paid for is to win, respect each other, respect the organization. That’s what I do.”
Hanley is aiming higher, saying he’ll go into the Hall in a Marlins uniform, and that the Fish will retire his number. “I’m going to make it to the Hall of Fame being in a Marlins uniform,” Ramirez said. “This number [#2]– nobody’s going to wear it.”
Regarding Conine, Hanley had this to say: “I’m still playing. I’m in the game. Where is he? I’m just happy to be in the game. I don’t care what other people say.” Hanley also said he ‘used to get along [with Conine].’
So what’s your take on this? I think Hanley was a bit too wordy on it, but I can’t blame him. Conine’s comments were negative, obviously, but so many people are unnecessarily degrading Ramirez. Expecting him to do 100% for you is just nuts, and yes, there are some moments where you would like to see more effort from Hanley– but still. You can’t expect too much out of a player, especially a shortstop. Albert Pujols can succeed because his swing is fantastic, and he has a very basic position. So what if Hanley doesn’t run out a pop-fly? I see players do that every day with no complaints from fans, writers, or anybody. Logan Morrison could go out there pop-out and not run to first base, and nobody would care. Jack McKeon and the coaches might, but fans could be less concerned. But when Hanley is put in the situation, if he doesn’t succeed, “he’s awful, let’s trade him, get him out of here, he’s a negative impact on the team,” etc. I think that Conine just has a bit of a bad past with Ramirez, which is why he would trade him. You just don’t trade away your phenom.
I also think it’s great that Hanley wants to retire in a Marlins uniform. As of now, Hanley is likely the Marlins’ only chance of getting their own player in the Hall. And Hanley has the potential. He needs to continue to work hard, set goals, and do well all season. He’s young– but not that young. If he can succeed the next, let’s say, 10 years as a Marlin (if such were to happen), he’ll see Cooperstown. If the star goes off the edge and let’s people get into his head, he won’t succeed. His talent is endless. It’s as simple as that.
Hanley Ramirez’s career stats: .307 batting average, 134 HR’s, 433 RBI’s, 214 SB’s, and a .968 fielding percentage.
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