The Miami Marlins have a new man in town. He is also the clubs new short stop. When rumors swirled around the web that Jose Reyes was a priority for the fish, all eyes went to Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez, the Marlins star shortstop holds a number of accolades. (Rookie of the year, 3x All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger Winner, 30-30 club member) Without any doubt, Hanley is a VERY talented ball player and is considered top 10 in the game when he is on his groove. Disregarding last year’s woes, I can understand the recent frustration shown by Hanley. When the news of Reyes at short stop came into the picture, Hanley let the world know he did not want to change positions. He noted that he is a short stop and he wants to remain a short stop. Jeffrey Loria and Ozzie Guillen quickly shut down the talks saying that Hanley will be mature and welcome the change.
So now that Reyes is a Marlin, lets dig a little more into this situation. I might catch a few critic boo’s for this, but I completely understand where Hanley is coming from and believe he should not be criticized. Ramirez is just 27 years old and find himself in the prime of his career. Acquired from the Boston Red Sox, Hanley was told he can be the face of this franchise and he embraced the opportunity. Hanley has posted ridiculous numbers in his career already and has shown everyone he has incredible potential. With power to hit 30+ home runs a year, a swing to hit over .330 in a season, and speed to steal over 30 bases, Ramirez is considered a 5-tool player. He has the skill-set to do it all. Not only is Hanley a good player, but he is always fun to follow. The star short stop is always seen with a smile on his face and believe it or not, actually interacts well with fans.
If Hanley is as good as described, why is he being looked down upon by many critics? All marlin fans remember the incident last year. A poor effort made by Hanley going for a ball turned into a steady walk after the ball while the play was going on. This incident caught the national media and changed many peoples opinions on the effort level of H2R. I will be the first to admit that this was wrong, and I for one never expect to see that again. However since that incident, it is almost like Hanley is looked upon as the “bad guy” when really he is not. He is a young Dominican ball player still learning how to handle the fame and attention.
So this is my challenge to you. Put yourself in Hanley’s shoes for one minute. Whether you agree with me or not, do me that one favor. Hanley went from being the face of the franchise, the all-star super talented shortstop loved by many fans, to being told to move positions to make room for Reyes. He has seen where people want him to move teams completely, which is absurd in my view. Hanley knows he had a bad year, but he also knows that he is talented and very well capable of being a super star. Instead of giving Reyes all the hype, we should encourage and keep loving Hanley more than ever. Without Hanley, we are not capable of making the post-season. He is still our “super star” and should be treated like one as well. This season is for you H2R, keep your head up and ball your kind of baseball. Keep making us proud!