Dear Hanley: You Blew it Man!

Dear Hanley,

Your refusal to step up and humble yourself, to be a leader that all of your teammates expect from you, is a disgrace.

Listen, you accidentally “kicked” a ball down the left field line.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Heck that happens.  There wasn’t a single person on your team, the other team, or in that stadium that thought you did something wrong with that accidental “boot.”  What every person in that stadium saw following the “boot” was unacceptable.  You “dogged” it man.  YOU “DOGGED” IT!

You could have been a man. You could have said, you made a “terrible decision and you’re embarrassed about it.”  But you decided to take a different angle that exposed you as a selfish player who could care less about your teammates.  You said,

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

So you feel like the best route here is to throw your teammates under the bus and call them out?

THEY ARE FOLLOWING YOU!  IF THEY DOG IT, IT IS BECAUSE THEY SEE YOU DOGGING IT!  THAT IS CALLED A MIRROR!

Craig Biggio would lose his mind if he saw that.  Biggio was the most consistent effort guy I have ever seen and because of that WE FOLLOWED HIS EXAMPLE.  Do you see how this works?  Your teammates are following you.  If you went hard then there wouldn’t be people dogging it after ground balls.

But here is my real problem with you.  You disrespected your manager for making the right decision.  You said,

“That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues,” he said.

Let me tell you something Hanley.  That is the most degrading comment a Big League player can say to a coach, manager, or any other person associated with the game.  That is cruel!   What does that have to do with anything?  That is elitist and wrong!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLAY IN THE BIG LEAGUES TO KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT AND TO CARE ABOUT YOUR PLAYERS!

Listen, you are just a immature kid who needs to get his butt kicked.  I played against a lot of your teammates and the don’t seem like a group to cross.  If I were you I would go up to Wes Helms and ask him for help.  And before you talk to the rest of your teammates, I would crawl into Fredi Gonzalez’s office, take your hat off that you wear “crooked”, and say,

“Fredi, I am so sorry for saying those comments about you.  I lashed out when I was the one that messed up.  You made the right choice in pulling me from that game.  But I really want you to know that what I said about you “not playing in the big leagues” was really mean and I am sorry if I hurt you.”

You know what Fredi will say?

“Hanley this shows me a lot.  I know it is hard to play this game and you have a lot of media pressure.  But we need you.  You are one of the best players in the game and our guys look to you.  If you don’t try then they won’t try.  As far as I’m concerned this issue is water under the bridge.   Thank you for apologizing.  You just took a huge step in becoming a leader.”

Now you crawl into that clubhouse and keep that “crooked hat” off your head and look each of your teammates in the eye and apologize.  NO LOOKING DOWN, NO EXCUSES!  JUST TAKE IT!  If they lash out, then TAKE IT!

Now shut your mouth and never do that weak crap again.  When the media comes up to you, you say that you apologized to Fredi and your teammates and say that you made a huge mistake and that you are sorry.

Now go out there and get 4 hits and win!  This issue is closed!

Morgan Ensberg


83 Comments on “Dear Hanley: You Blew it Man!”

  1. mrimperial says:

    I hope he reads this. Slight injury or not, the guy should absolutely not have said the things he said. Utter garbage.

  2. Teri says:

    awesome–i sure hope he reads this and does exactly what you told him to do.

  3. AlexLytwyn says:

    Well said. Just the fact that this is a marquee player like Hanley Ramirez makes it so much more depressing to see. I can only hope that younger players don’t see this attitude and think its okay to act in a similar manner.

    • Alex time will tell. Most people say, “It wasn’t like that in my day.” That is sort of a lame response. Of course it wasn’t because each generation is in a different environment. What is consistent is that people want to see great athletes play a game and give it everything they got.

      Morgan

  4. Darryl says:

    Morgan, once again you nail it right on. What really frightens me about this whole thing is this: Hanley is only the tip of the iceberg. I watch a lot of youth baseball, and many of the kids coming up have the same attitude – like they don’t have to listen to anyone or respect anything. It’s very scary.

  5. Tony says:

    Spot on, for me.

    Team “star” or not, the first building brick in winning, is to at least try.

    As a fan, all I ask is that players try their best. If they come up short, so be it – at least we’re safe in the knowledge they did their best.

    I hope Hanley has a long, hard look at himself and realises he’s in the wrong in this situation.

  6. Dustin says:

    Rack him!

  7. Mike@AJM says:

    Good job calling him out, Morg.

    The irony is that Fredi Gonzalez, as someone who DID PLAY in the minors, knows better than anyone the difficulties of playing in tough conditions but continuing to plug away and hustle even when injured. A minor leaguer has to grind harder than anyone to achieve the dream.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the medical training staff A BIT better at the major league level than it is in the minors? My guess is that the difference is significant and consequently, Gonzalez has gone through a lot worse than Ramirez deals with at the MLB level.

    What a spoiled brat. Glad to see that universal support is lining up behind Gonzalez.

    • Mike I don’t know about Fredi’s experience in baseball, but it should have zero bearing on his understanding of baseball. His effort in this incident shows me that he knows exactly what he is doing. Based on this action I would follow him.

      Morgan

  8. GaryS says:

    Well said! The complete opposite reaction by Ramirez to a similar situation that occurred with Jimmy Rollins in 2008. All J-Roll did was go on to lead the Phils to a World Championship.

  9. Jamie says:

    Makes you wonder if there’s no one in the Marlins clubhouse who could address this with him. Show him the errors of his ways, as it were.

  10. Leo says:

    The thing about Hanley is that he is NOT a leader. He’s NEVER been a leader. He’s never WANTED to be a leader. It was never MEANT for him to be a leader. And finally, he SHOULD NEVER be a leader.

  11. jklender says:

    Where do the Marlins go from here? When a guy like Ramirez does something like that, how can that locker room be whole again without him doing exactly what you call upon him to do (and what he should do)?

    He almost needs someone that he looks up to (whether family, a player idol, or whatever) to sit down with him and state it pretty much as you did above, because I’m not sure he will do so by himself. Otherwise, I don’t know how that team finds any level of success with him in that lineup, as good as he is. It’s a lose-lose situation no matter what.

  12. Ditto x 1000. That Hanley video clip should come with a warning: “Not to be viewed by impressionable young ballplayers.”

    • Leo says:

      Actually….maybe it SHOULD be used as a “What NOT to do” presentation.

      • Pete G. says:

        I agree, Leo.

        I showed the clip to my eight year old son and told him that is exactly what he should NEVER do. I explained to him how Hanley let ALL of his teammates down, and that should never happen.

  13. Mike says:

    When does Morgan get offered a manager position?

  14. Xeifrank says:

    Really, one of his teammates should kick his butt. Can you imagine if someone had done and said this to someone like Billy Martin back in the days. There would’ve been a can of “whoop ass” opened on Hanley – and there should be.
    vr, Xeifrank

  15. You would make a good manager Morgan. Think about it.

  16. Scott says:

    Awesome, Morgan!

  17. Mindbomb2000 says:

    Pieces like THIS are why I look forward to EVERY post of yours Mr. Morgan Ensberg. You call people out, you say it like it is, but never in a mean-spirited way. So refreshing, insightful, and ummmm…. AWESOME!

  18. Mark says:

    I think what Hanley did was stupid, but jeez, we’ve got tons of guys who cheated by taking PEDs after it was clear that they were 100% not allowed…And those guys don’t get benched – MLB has to suspend them; their teams will happily take results from guys who refuse to step up and admit what they did was wrong.

    • jklender says:

      Not sure I really see how that relates to the issue of an athlete publicly maligning his teammates and coaches.

    • Brian McMahon says:

      Uh, who are these tons of guys exactly? Pretty sure everybody gets tested now, and the ones who fail do get suspended. And all the guys I’ve heard admit they took them have admitted what they did was wrong. So…I’m not sure what your point is.

  19. Kristina says:

    Well said, Morgan.

    In my opinion, I don’t think just one guy on the team should be a designated leader – they should all be leaders and setting examples for each other. And to have one guy pull this weak crap is not setting a good example for everyone else.

    That said, I have a question for you: Which current player do you think is the best leader/example-setter right now? I’d tell you who I think it is, but I’m a Cardinals fan and you’ll just think I’m a homer.😉

  20. Heather says:

    Not only did Hanley throw his manager and team under the bus because HE did something wrong…. I think he did some major damage to his own career. I know I wouldn’t want him MY team. Mr. Ramirez, perhaps you should take a look at Milton Bradley to see what could happen when you run your mouth without thinking of the consequences that it may bring.

  21. Steve N. says:

    Very well stated, Morgan. I think you crystallize the thoughts not only of most fans, but hopefully the majority of players plying their trade at the MLB level.

    As therapy, perhaps we send young Hanley off for a weekend retreat with Earl Weaver. Perhaps a hack like The Earl of Baltimore could show Ramirez a few things about the game. Nah…..Weaver never played in the Bigs. No idea how a guy like that made the Hall.

  22. Jason says:

    High *FRIPPIN* Five there, Mr. Ensberg.

    I saw the play, and I honestly thought they had slowed it down for effect. Then I watched it again, and realized he was running like a fat man towards a rice cake.

    Just pathetic…

  23. Kelly says:

    Completely agree with everything you said, Morgan…And it looks like he’s back in the lineup tonight after a quick meeting in the manager’s office. Hopefully he learned something out of all this. I believe it was Uggla that called him out last year when Ramirez was showing a lack of hustle overall.

    Keep up the good blogging!

  24. lisa gray says:

    i agree with you completely.

    i do NOT agree with people who think this is the 70s (or earlier) when guys like billy martin picked fist fights with players – as if being a screaming bully is any way to run a ballclub. you sure nuff don’t see torre/cox/TLR acting like that. (billy didn’t last real too long at any gig he had, neither.) not sure why so many fans think it is so incredibly kewl for managers to go all sarge on the beetle bailey players.

    however,
    i have read comments on other sites in which the readers say that because hanley is an outstanding player, the manager should ignore it if he dogs it because it doesn’t matter whatsoever. and stars should be kept happy. in other words, gonzalez shouldn’t have said anything to him during the game, certainly shouldn’t have pulled him (because his replacement would not be as good a player) and shouldn’t have said anything to the media.

    seriously

    but dogging it like that is most CERTAINLY disrespecting your teammates and every last one of em, from the regulars to the 25th man SHOULD have confronted hanley and demanded an apology.

    and actually, i think the other 24 players wouldn’t have had any respect for the manager if he HAD ignored the dogging it.

  25. Alan says:

    Morgan,
    Again, you hit that one solid!!
    Will you counsel my wife and I? We have open slots Tues., Thur. evenings and all day Saturday. Are your rates as reasonable as this blog?
    Don’t Jinx the Dirt

    • Alan you’re funny. Remember, you are only getting the content that I allow you to read. I could be shaping myself to look better than I really am. That is sort of my point.

      Morgan

  26. Jimmy says:

    No matter how much people knock on A rod, I don’t even think he would pull this. I saw it live and yelled to my buddy “dude hes jogging after the ball!” I was pissed seeing it. Hanley had the balls to say (i would quote it but I dont remember the exact words) I went hard after it. Haha BS Hanley

  27. Nick K says:

    Awesome post, Morgan. You definitely hit the issue on the head.
    Also, I’m loving your blog! I just recently got into it again, and I like what I see! Keep up the great work!

  28. Ashitaka says:

    Right on Morgan! Maybe we could show Biggio all this, he might just go nuts and jump on a plane to Miami and beat the snot out of Hanley. That was easily one of the worst displays by any player I’ve ever seen.

  29. goldstarcouriers says:

    Amen, brother!

  30. Pete G. says:

    Fantastic, Morgan!

    I was hoping you’d weigh in on this. It’s sad to see guys at this level, heck, ANY level, pull this type of stuff.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best of luck to you, man.

  31. jklender says:

    Exactly what had to happen:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5204020

    Thank you, Andre Dawson and Tony Perez.

    • Couch Tater says:

      JK –

      I don’t think Hanley wants to mess with the Hawk, if he ever saw the 1987 “beanball” incident where Dawson was knocked out by an Eric Show fastball to the face. ( only 24 stitches) After Dawson got up, he went after Show.

      If you’ve never seen it, it’s about 55 seconds into this video…

      • jklender says:

        Eric Show… Now there’s a sad story.

      • That is crazy Tater!

        Morgan

      • Yg Bluig says:

        Wow. I’ve seen benches clear dozens of times before but I’ve never before seen 48 guys, coaches and four umpires having to restrain one guy. And Dawson was so pissed, every single one of them was needed to keep him from Show.

        With Hanley Ramirez, this is why the Red Sox, with their perennial problems at short since ’04, were willing to include Hanley, their most talented AAA prospect in many a year, in a deal to Florida. He has that rep of being a primo prima donna, a diva’s diva. And while dogging it on this play was the most blatant example, it is not unique or an aberration for him.
        The question moving forward is does he learn from it? Certainly everyone makes mistakes and people sometimes even learn from them. Character flaws are another story. Those are harder to correct.

    • Brian McMahon says:

      I’m glad Dawson had a talk with the kid, but why did he then blab about it to the media? Isn’t the whole point here that disagreements like this should stay in the clubhouse? Not that Hanley didn’t have it coming, but if I were him, I’d be pretty pissed off that Dawson went and told the world that he called me out and threatened to knock me on my a$$.

      Dawson told him the right way to behave–and then went out and set an example of the opposite, bragging about how tough he is in the papers.

      • jklender says:

        I don’t know, I don’t find it hypocritical. Hanley probably would be best to just take his medicine and play baseball.

        I think it’s important for the organization to provide closure on the incident to their fans. Once everything got out into the media, it needs to be sewn up in the public eye as well. It certainly wouldn’t help the ballclub to for Hanley to continually get booed at home, so letting the fans know the issue has been dealt with is the best way for everyone to move forward.

        Dawson was doing Hanley a favor.

  32. Rich Mahogany says:

    This is the only criticism of Hanley I’ve read that is appropriately harsh without being sanctimonious. It’s easy for a writer to witness a player do something unsportsmanlike and fire off a holier-than-thou article about how that player lacks Respect for the Game. Anyone could write that article. But it’s a lot tougher to write about the actual repercussions of the player’s disrespectful actions and how the player should make things right. Your post, unlike the vast majority of articles condemning Hanley, taught me more about baseball. Thanks for doing that.

    • Rick we are trying to develop a “team” here that learns about the game. My hope is that I can just hit you straight with what I see. Glad you liked this one.

      Morgan

  33. Couch Tater says:

    Sorry, Morgan. I thought I was just providing a link to the video.

  34. Mrs. P says:

    Hey Morgan-
    Been catching up on your blog, and this is one of my favorite posts. Love that you tell it like it is and aren’t afraid to call out a player who is acting like a child instead of showing up as a leader in a professional sport. Can’t wait to read more.

  35. Marc Schneider says:

    I don’t expect players to be perfect. They are only human, it’s a long season, and it’s probably not reasonable (as many broadcasters seem to think) for someone to run out every single routine grounder. As a fan, though, all I ask is that the player not embarrass the team or make me feel like a sap for paying money to watch the game because he doesn’t care. Same thing in watching a movie; you want to think the actors put some effort into their craft. I have no idea what it’s like to play baseball at this level but I do know about professionalism in any occupation and Hanley’s actions were not that. I am simply amazed that there are people defending Hanley’s actions. He is young and immature and, hopefully, he learns from it. To me,though, the worst part, as Morgan alluded to, was Hanley’s comments about Freddi Gonzalez, as if you have to be a great player to understand hustle. If I was the Marlins, I would have suspended Hanley for that more than for the play on the field.

  36. […] Hanley, Hanley, Hanley. : He may be one of the best young stars in the game today, but Hanley Ramirez is also a big baby. Lack of hustle wasn’t the issue here. Hanley’s problem is more the lack of maturity and common sense. If you remember a year or so ago when he demanded a trade following the Marlins mandate that he cut his hair, then this didn’t surprise you. Morgan Ensberg had a good take on the whole thing, in case you missed it. […]

  37. Couch Tater says:

    Morgan – Was Brooks Conrad ever a teammate of yours? Walk off grand slam last night after 4000 minor league at bats to get to the majors. And, HAPPY to be a pinch hitter.

    Hanley, please read…

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=5207120&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fblog%3fname%3dolney_buster%26id%3d5207120

  38. As if fans weren’t already looking for excuses NOT to fill the seats at Marlins games!?
    Countering the “pampered athlete approach” I’m keeping a keen eye on what Nolan Ryan is up to down in Texas, and rooting for his approach to be the “new” norm (which is the old norm!) Great read on Ryan’s Rangers in May issue of Sports Illustrated (can’t find it online, so…quick – sell all your Time Inc. stock cause they clearly don’t get it!)

  39. Fletch says:

    Hu Ahhh Morgan
    Outstanding rant !
    Unfortunately, I don’t believe he gets it.

  40. Fletch says:

    Hu-Ahhh Morgan
    Outstanding rant sir…Unfortunately, I’m not sure the team has a Biggio, Bagwell or necessary leadership in the clubhouse to deal with this kid –

  41. wags says:

    My first comment here–

    Morgan, you continuously astound me with your common sense solutions to problems that rarely seem to be dealt with common sense.

    I can’t wait to see your take on some of the other pressing issues facing major league baseball, especially those involving the Astros. Perhaps something on the subject of Drayton and Bud, their relationship, and how the ownership of their respective teams led and has led to such unseemly results.

    Keep it up!

    • Thanks Wags. I don’t really know the dynamic between Drayton and Bud. It would be really hard for me to speculate what is going on there. My takes really are just looking at the decisions and trying to place myself in their shoes. It is easy to bash a team when a team is going badly, but I try and look past all that stuff and comment on the root of the problem. The root of the problem is lack of leadership. The Astros do not have a defined style of baseball. What are they? Do they run? Are they hard-nosed? Are they small ball? Are they a pitching and defensive team?

      When the culture turns badly, it is vital to provide a vision to the front office and the players to rally around. If you don’t have that, you will constantly saying, “These players are good, they just aren’t playing well.” My answer to that is, “You are right. Those individual players are good, but together they don’t compliment themselves.” The reason they don’t compliment themselves is because they aren’t sure what their responsibilities are because there isn’t a defined brand of ball.

      Morgan

  42. Dustin says:

    Well said Mo. Took the words out of my mouth. It’s a shame Hanley’s attitude is what turns the regular fan off to sports and its professionals. That’s where some of the disdain comes from…


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