Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Time to bring Hanley home to Boston

Posted by Bill Koch on May 18, 2010

Hanley Ramirez Marlins

Hanley Ramirez Seadogs

Here’s your chance, Theo Epstein. Here’s your chance to give your struggling Boston Red Sox a spark and to undo one of the moves made during your tenure that you thought was a mistake.

Hanley Ramirez put one foot out the door with the Florida Marlins thanks to his comments on Monday, a disgraceful ripping of both manager Fredi Gonzalez and his teammates after Ramirez refused to hustle after a ball that he kicked into the left-field corner. The Marlins’ front office can’t just sit back and do nothing here and they can’t fire Gonzalez to appease their star. Florida would be opening Pandora’s Box by doing anything but sending Ramirez and his 6-year, $72-million contract out of town.

For those in Pink Hat Nation who don’t remember, Ramirez was traded to Florida by the Red Sox as one of the centerpieces of a deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. Epstein was busy hiding in his gorilla suit at the time, and his subordinates, Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington, pulled the trigger on a trade that ultimately handed the Red Sox the 2007 World Series through standout postseason performances by Beckett (4-0, 1.20 ERA) and Lowell (World Series MVP).

Epstein was against the deal. He’s said since then that he never would have made it if he hadn’t been on his hiatus from the general manager position. We at Ramble On hope that he was working the phones on Tuesday morning in an attempt to bring Ramirez back to Boston, because the opportunity is so glaringly obvious that it can’t possibly go unexplored.

Marco Scutaro (who made yet another error on Tuesday night that led to a pair of runs in the second inning for the New York Yankees) can’t stand in the way of one of baseball’s top five players coming to town. Scutaro is a placeholder for somebody else, similar to Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez and Julio Lugo during their time in Boston. Ramirez is the No. 3 hitter that Red Sox desperately need and would provide some excitement to a team that is boring as sin and lifeless on the diamond. His average annual value breaks the bank in Florida and serves as chump change for a big market like Boston.

Two main questions seem to exist that would stop a bid for Ramirez – his attitude and how much he’ll cost in prospects. The first one is easy to answer – This Manager will make it all better. This Manager has played in the big leagues. This Manager’s Father played in the big leagues. This Manager is allegedly a cross between Gandhi and Nelson Mandela when it comes to making peace in the clubhouse and soothing bruised egos. He should be the perfect cure to Ramirez’s apparent bad attitude.

The second question can be approached like this – who is untouchable in the Red Sox minor league system? The answer should be nobody. Ryan Westmoreland, Michael Bowden, Lars Anderson, Jed Lowrie and Craig Hansen have all earned that label before from Boston’s front office when their respective names came up in deals. How has that turned out? Exactly. Prospects are called prospects for a reason. They’re not a sure thing. Ramirez is already the finished product, and he seems to need a fresh start. He needs a chance – just like Epstein. Let’s hope they take this one together.

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One Response to “Time to bring Hanley home to Boston”

  1. Ryan said

    Nice writeup. This was the first thing I thought when I saw what Ramirez said about Gonzalez. I don’t know much about Boston’s farm system but if they have anyone worth a damn and they plan on competing in the AL East this year they better try and pull the trigger.

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