Tag:Hanley Ramirez
Posted on: July 16, 2011 1:30 am
Edited on: July 16, 2011 9:38 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Phillips stings Cardinals

Brandon Phillips

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brandon Phillips, Reds:Phillips didn't exactly enhance his standing in St. Louis. Already the most hated man in eastern Missouri, Phillips hit a two-out, walk-off homer to give the Reds a 6-5 victory over St. Louis. Phillips had an error that gave St. Louis its first lead off starter Johnny Cueto

Jeff Karstens, Pirates: The Pirates right-hander allowed just five hits and needed only 83 pitches in a shutout victory in Houston, which when coupled with losses by the Cardinals and Brewers catapulted the Pirates into a tie for first place. Seriously, a tie for first place. Karstens became  the first Pirate to win five-straight decisions since 2006 and lowered his ERA to 2.34, third-best in the National League, leapfrogging Roy Halladay.

Eric Hosmer, Royals: With two outs in the ninth, Hosmer took Twins closer Matt Capps deep over the wall in center at Target Field, giving the Royals a 2-1 lead. Closer Joakim Soria made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, but the Royals held on for the victory. Hosmer now has nine home runs on the season.

Nationals defense: Washington had five errors in Friday's 11-1 loss to the Braves. First baseman Michael Morse had two errors on one play in the first inning and added another later in the game. Morse had just one error in his first six seasons in the big leagues. Shortstop Ian Desmond had another error in the Braves' four-run first. Ryan Zimmerman added the team's fifth miscue later when a ball went between his legs in the sixth.

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins: Usually a player's 1,000th career hit would be a time of celebration. Not for Ramirez, who was slow out of the box on a ball to the gap in the ninth inning. Cubs center-fielder Marlon Byrd made a strong throw to second to nab Ramirez. The Marlins scored their only run of the game one batter later on Logan Morrison's RBI single that should have tied the game at 2. Instead, the Cubs lifted a struggling Carlos Marmol, and Sean Marshall picked up a one-out save for Chicago, ending Florida's six-game winning streak.

Matt Tolbert, Twins: When you come in a pinch-runner, you're supposed to be smart on the basebaths. That's all the Twins ask of Tolbert -- well, that and running faster than Jim Thome -- but he didn't do his job. With one out in the ninth and the Twins trailing 2-1, Tolbert stood on third with Luke Hughes at the plate. Hughes hit a tapper back to the mound, but instead of holding at third, Tolbert was easily thrown out at the plate. One batter later Tsuyoshi Nishioka grounded out to end the game.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:33 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Ramirez slams Rangers

By Evan Brunell

UpMatt Garza, Cubs -- Garza took a no-hitter into the sixth but settled for a one-run complete game, striking out seven White Sox in a 1-0 loss as he was outdueled by Phillip Humber and Matt Thornton's combined whitewashing. Despite losing, Garza easily had the best performance on the night. Maybe it's because it's too early to get the stink of Cubs defeat on him, but Garza's been a pretty bright spot this year.

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins -- Ramirez has been a new man lately, as he's racked up seven hits, six runs scored and eight RBI in his last four games. He had five of those RBI Saturday when he hit a grand slam in the first inning, then hammered a solo shot later in the game. Ramirez contributed a single to the 9-5 defeat of the Rangers. Ramirez is still batting .230, but that's not going to last and when Ramirez gets hot, he gets scorching hot.

Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- Hamilton tried to hang with Ramirez by hitting two of his own home runs, but only amassed three RBI total. He also had a three-hit night. The outfielder missed time earlier this season with injury, but has raked when in the lineup. He's off his 2010 pace that saw him earn the MVP, but that's also high standards to live up to.

Today, we're honoring the three notable players to leave one of Saturday's games with an injury...

DownFausto Carmona, Indians -- Carmona dropped a bunt single and then strained his right quad trying to make it to first base safely. Why we have to go through this charade with pitchers (never mind the AL part, pitchers, period), again, exactly? Carmona only got through two innings, so Frank Herrmann stepped up with three innings and the 'pen took turns holding things down. Middle reliever All-Star Vinnie Pestano walked away with the save. Carmona is expected to hit the 15-day DL.

Ryan Braun, Brewers -- Braun won't hit the DL, at least not yet, but he's out for Sunday after a strained left quad knocked him from the eventual 8-7 rally to defeat the Twins. Braun went 1 for 4 with a double and RBI before departing after an eight-inning ground out. “It’s pretty tight, pretty sore,” Braun told MLB.com. “I’m definitely not playing [Sunday]. We’ll probably see where it’s at in a couple of days.” But it all worked out: George Kottaras delivered the winning hit from Braun's spot in the ninth.

Jose Reyes, Mets -- As the Yankees once again reminded the Mets whose boss in town, the NL counterparts lost Jose Reyes after two innings with tightness in his left hamstring. Reyes will get a MRI and will almost certainly miss Sunday's game. "It's not too much pain. I feel it a little bit," Reyes told the Associated Press. "I didn't want to blow my hamstring again because I've been through a lot with that." Reyes reached on an infield single to second in his only at-bat.

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:44 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:54 pm

3 Up, 3 Down: Pierre comes through in clutch

By Matt Snyder

Juan Pierre, White Sox. It's been a rough season for Pierre thus far, but he came through in a big way Thursday. In the top of the eighth, Pierre hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Then, in the top of the tenth, Pierre stepped to bat with the bases loaded and came just a few feet from hitting a grand slam. Mind you, this is a guy with 15 career home runs in over 7,000 plate appearances. He laced a Clayton Mortensen pitch off the high right field wall in Coors Field that was probably about three feet from landing in the seats. Since Paul Konerko was holding on first, Pierre only managed a single, but he did drive in two runs, which proved to be the game-winners. On the day, Pierre went 3-5 with three RBI and a stolen base as the White Sox hung within four games in the AL Central.

Jason Varitek, Red Sox. The venerable backstop used to have pretty good power for a catcher, but he's 39 now and on his last legs. Still, there's a little tread left on those old tires, as Varitek proved with a two-homer game Thursday. He entered the game with only three home runs in 130 plate appearances this season and hasn't hit two in a game since April 10 of last season. It was the 10th two-home run game of his career. Varitek also handled the Red Sox pitching staff from behind the plate to a shutout of the best team in baseball. All in all, well done for the venerable captain.

The Florida Marlins. Let us congratulate the Marlins. For the first time since May 25-26, they have won back-to-back games. In two days, they nearly doubled their win total in the nightmarish month, too. Before the modest winning streak -- can we say two games is a streak? Whatever, I'm doing it here -- the Marlins were 3-23 in June. They close it 5-23. Oh, and don't look now, but here's Hanley Ramirez's line in the past eight games: .355 average, two doubles, a home run, seven RBI, six runs and a .910 OPS. Maybe it was Jack McKeon's tough love, maybe it's hitting cleanup or maybe he was just bound to come out of the season-long slump eventually (probably a combination of the three). Regardless of the reason, it would appear Hanley is coming around.

Giants' offense. It's pretty bad to only get five hits in 13 innings. It's pretty bad to only score one earned run in 13 innings. It's really bad when you look deeper at the circumstances behind the offensive ineptitude, though. Cubs' starter Carlos Zambrano left the game during the second inning with an injury. In came Marcos Mateo and his 5.09 ERA. He was recently recalled from Triple-A. And he dominated the Giants. Mateo needed only 56 pitches to carve through the Giants in five scoreless innings. He only gave up two hits and struck out six. If you can believe it, things got even worse for the Giants' bats. In one stretch, they went 10 1/3 innings without a hit. Oh, and the Cubs came into Thursday with the worst ERA in the NL. Amazingly, the Giants would have won the game if the bullpen didn't blow two saves.

Brewers against Yankees/Red Sox. The Brewers have World Series aspirations this season, so it's a good thing for them it's only the halfway point of the season. In two series against the two best teams in the AL, the Brewers were pretty thoroughly embarrassed. Thursday, former teammate CC Sabathia owned them, as the Yankees cruised to a 5-0 win. The Brewers were outscored 22-4 by the Yankees during the three-game sweep. When the Brewers visited Boston, they lost two of three and were outscored 24-11. Add it up, and you have the Brewers going 1-5 and being outscored by an average of five runs per game. Meanwhile they've fallen back into a first-place tie with the Cardinals, and the Reds and Pirates are only two back.

Brad Mills, Astros. Yes, we're putting a manager from a team that won 7-0 here. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and no one on base, Mills made a pitching change ... and brought in his closer, Mark Melancon. The only earthly explanation for this would be to "get him work," as he'd only pitched once since June 22. Why not the whole ninth, then? Melancon ended up needing only two pitches to end the game. He can get that kind of "work" in the bullpen. The mid-inning pitching change was a waste of time and no good could have possibly come from it.

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Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 10:31 am

Pepper: Is the trade deadline too soon?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Are the Nationals headed in the right direction with Davey Johnson? MLB.com's Tom Bororstein joins Lauren Shihadi to discuss the Nationals, as well as the upcoming Reds-Rays series, the Indians-Diamondbacks and more.

PUSH IT BACK: In a month, we here at Eye On Baseball will be churning out rumors and speculation left and right -- who has interest in whom, which team is a buyer and which is a seller and what backup second baseman has some trade value. It's part of the baseball calendar, the last weekend of July. But is that too early?

Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune says it is, and I'm not sure he's wrong.

The nonwaiver trade deadline is at the two-thirds mark of the season, and that may be too soon for teams to decide just exactly what their chances are to make the best decision about folding or going all in on a postseason run.

The best reason to change it is that it forces too many teams -- especially those without a high payroll flexibility -- to give up too soon. Who wants to pay to see 25 games or so to see a team that has given up hope? Push the trade deadline back and lie to us a little longer, we like that.

NEW YORK TRADE TIME?: Could this be the year the Mets and Yankees make a big trade with each other? The two teams have only made nine trades with each other in their history. It's unlikely Jose Reyes will go across town, but Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak could help the Yankees. [Wall Street Journal]

STRETCHING PINEDA: While nobody gave it any consideration when Michael Pineda broke the Mariners' camp in the rotation, it's now going to become an issue -- will the Mariners allow the rookie starter to add innings to his arm if the Mariners stick in the American League West race?

Seattle manager Eric Wedge says the team has a plan, not just for Pineda but the team's other pitchers as well, to try to limit innings, but still have his starters ready for September. The biggest thing is not limiting innings, but his game-to-game pitch count, Wedge said. [Seattle Times]

BARNEY SAYS IT GETS BETTER: Cubs rookie Darwin Barney not only participated in the "It Gets Better" project aimed at gay teens, but also said he was "honored" to ask. A cool deal for both Barney and an ever better deal for the campaign started by Cubs fan Dan Savage. The Giants have also shot a spot for the project. [Chicago Tribune]

HARANG STILL OUT: Padres starter Aaron Harang is unlikely to return from a stress fracture in his right foot until after the All-Star break. Harang leads the Padres' staff with a 7-2 record and 3.71 ERA. He's been on the DL since June 13. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

SORIA BACK: Since being reinstated as the Royals' closer, Joakim Soria hasn't allowed a run in 10 games (12 innings). He's only allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 12 and notching six saves. [Kansas City Star]

WE'RE GOING STREAKING!: Who is the streakiest team in baseball? Beyondtheboxscore.com has done the math and it's the Boston Red Sox. The least streaky? Well, that would be the consistently bad Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, amazingly enough, haven't won three games in a row all season.

JENKS BACK SOON: Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks is expected to join the team Monday in Philadelphia and could be activated on Tuesday. [Boston Herald]

Marlins STILL WOOING BIG NAMES: Nobody expects Jack McKeon to manager the Marlins next season. Florida hired its interim manager after last season and look at how that turned out. Apparently owner Jeffrey Loria wants a big-name manager, and that's likely Bobby Valentine or Ozzie Guillen. [Palm Beach Post]

BYRD'S FACEMASK: Bringing flashbacks of Terry Steinbach, Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd will wear a helmet with extra protection in his rehab start at Triple-A Iowa. Byrd was hit in the face last month and suffered facial fractures. [Chicago Tribune]

FINDING NIMMO: The Mets made Brandon Nimmo the first-ever first-round draft pick from the state of Wyoming. Wyoming hasn't had a first-rounder before because of its combination of low population and harsh climate. Nimmo's dad, Ron, has helped on both causes, raising his sons there and building a barn where they could hone their baseball skills year-round. [New York Post]

CHANGEUP PITCHES: The Brewers want right-hander Yovani Gallardo to throw more changeups. Gallardo is 9-4 with a 3.92 ERA this season, but is throwing the changeup just 1.6 percent of the time and none in his last two starts. The Brewers believe the pitch could help him lower his pitch counts and go deeper into games. [MLB.com]

HANLEY TO STAY AT CLEANUP: The Marlins new regime is going to continue using shortstop Hanley Ramirez as the team's cleanup hitter. Ramirez was hitting .200/.298/.295 overall when he was put in the fourth spot by new manager Jack McKeon and in five games in that spot, he's hitting .400/.429/.450 with four RBI, raising his overall line to .218/.309/.309. [Palm Beach Post]

SMALL GESTURE, BIG DEAL: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes a really neat tale of Curt Schilling and a World War II veteran who recently passed away.

ROSE BRINGS 'EM IN: There's apparently not a whole lot going on in the greater Bristol area of Virginia and Tennessee, because Pete Rose is bringing in the fans. No, not the Hit King, but Pete Rose Jr., manager of the Bristol White Sox of the short-season Class A Appalachian League. Still, it's cool Rose is chasing his dream. If there's one thing when you look at his career path, he may not have his father's talent, but he does have his drive. [Bristol Herald Courier]

THIS IS WRONG: That's it. Just wrong. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 8:15 pm

Will the Marlins trade Hanley Ramirez?


By Evan Brunell

You knew this question would have to be asked eventually. The Marlins, who are skidding deeper and deeper out of the playoff chase, could trade Hanley Ramirez, as Buster Olney of ESPN reports.

Olney says that several people inside the Marlins organization believe the club would be better off trading Ramirez. The 2006 Rookie of the Year threw up 29.9 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) between '06 and '10, which is the fourth-best tally over that time period behind Albert Pujols, Chase Utley and Matt Holliday. Ramirez is struggling in 2011 with a .206/.302/.299 line and a zero WAR -- meaning he's no better than a replacement player any team has lying around in the minors, but his slow start doesn't negate his talent. As a young shortstop who can do anything and everything on offense, Ramirez is a highly coveted player.

So why would the Marins entertain trading the main return in the deal that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston?

The answer has to do with attitude, and to a lesser extent, defense.

Ramirez is not a popular player in the clubhouse, as the 27-year-old has constantly clashed with managers, fails to run at a competitive speed often and has been called out in the past by teammates, including veteran Wes Helms last season. Ramirez seems to march to his own tune, and unfortunately, it may be too late for him to be brought in line. The Marlins, thanks to owner Jeffrey Loria, are misers when it comes to the payroll and that naturally means far less veteran players (and voices in the clubhouse) are brought into the fold. Not only has Ramirez played on a perpetually young team, he's now one of the oldest starters and has Loria in his back pocket as a major fan who gifted Ramirez a diamond-studded necklace for winning the 2009 batting title with a .342 mark.

Maybe if veteran influences had gotten to Ramirez earlier, the story would be different. In his former home of Boston, it certainly would have been. Instead, it seems he took his mentor to be another Ramirez in Manny, who was a star for the Red Sox for years and showed Hanley and others that people will put up with almost anything as long as balls are being crushed. And now, trade or no trade, Ramirez is ensconced in his attitude and his way of playing the game. Whichever team acquires Ramirez will not have a model teammate on its hands along with a poor defender.

Ramirez's 29.9 WAR is calculated on the backing of everything a baseball player can possibly do between the lines that can be quantified. That's offense, baserunning and defense. That latter category is where Ramirez suffers greatly, as he has racked up -48 defensive runs saved (DRS) in his career. How bad is that?

Of all shortstops who played at least 650 innings from 2005 to the present (Ramirez is at 8,867 entering Wednesday's games), the righty is the fourth-worst defender in the game according to DRS. Derek Jeter is the worst, and it isn't even close, with 31 runs separating him from second place's Yuniesky Betancourt. Ten runs "better" is Michael Young, then Ramirez.

No matter how you slice it, Ramirez is brutal as shortstop and that won't change anytime soon, with Buster Olney saying that other team evaluators believe Ramirez is now too big to play shortstop. But really, he was never a good defender and really needs a move to third or center field, a prospect unlikely to happen in Florida for a variety of reasons.

Any team acquiring Ramirez with the intention of switching his position will have to worry about an unhappy player asked to move off the most athletic position on the field. A team will not want to deal with that distraction in-season, so any team looking to snag Ramirez by July 31 will have to do so with the idea of putting Ramirez at short moving forward. And not many teams are going to want to put a player hitting .206/.302/.299 at short for the rest of the year, even if Ramirez can and will turn it around.

So will the Marlins trade Ramirez?

Probably not during the season. And probably not during the offseason, either.

The Marlins, under Loria, have never paid a player $15 million. Ramirez would become the first player to be compensated as such under Loria if he remains in uniform next season, and is under contract for three more years after 2011. While the $15 million mark may not work in favor of Ramirez staying in town, the fact that he's tied up for three more years is. Florida has a bird in the hand with Ramirez, and won't be looking to give him away much like they were with Dan Uggla in the offseason.

The Marlins are also trying to head into 2012 with a strong team and a face of the franchise to build a new identity around. Florida will be moving into a new stadium, changing its name to the Miami Marlins, and debuting new team colors and uniforms. The Marlins were hoping Dan Uggla would be the face of the franchise upon the move, and acted very un-Marlinslike in offering him a four-year deal before blanching at his rejection and sending him to Atlanta for next to nothing. The Marlins need someone to build excitement heading into their new digs, and while Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison are certainly exciting, they're no Hanley Ramirez.

So no, Florida  won't trade Ramirez, at least not before the 2012 season. But after that, all bets are off.

This is the Marlins, after all.

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 11:34 am

Pepper: No rule change needed at 1B

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: There may not be a more interesting division in baseball than the American League Central. While the surprising Indians lead the Tigers by a game, the White Sox and Twins linger. Can the Twins, now just 6 1/2 games out, continue to get themselves in contention? Will Jake Peavy be able to stay in the White Sox's rotation? NESN.com's Tony Lee joins our own Lauren Shehadi to discuss.

RULE CHANGE NEEDED?: And just yesterday, I was going to make a sarcastic joke that I was surprised I hadn't heard Giants fans complain about safety at first base after the Albert Pujols injury.

For weeks after Buster Posey's injury we heard long discussions about changing the rules for plays at the plate and how the catcher had to be protected. Scott Cousins was vilified and scapegoated. Well, Wilson Betemit was taken off the hook when Cardinals manager Tony La Russa put all the blame on the shoulders of rookie Pete Kozma, even though in both cases the injured player deserves much of the blame for being in a  poor position (and I'm not saying either deserved to be hurt, just that they put themselves in a bad spot and got hurt -- it happens).

Anyway, the New York Times is the first (and only that I've seen) to start up the change-the-rules-at-first-base bandwagon. My response? In a word: no.

LUDWICK ON THE MOVE?: Ryan Ludwick was moved last July from one contender to another -- from St. Louis to San Diego (in a three-team trade that brought Jake Westbrook to St. Louis); he could be on the move again.

The Phillies, Marlins and Reds have all reportedly asked about Ludwick's availability. Ludwick is hitting .255/.322/.393 with a team-high nine home runs this season, but is hitting .279/.324/.419 away from Petco Park.

The Padres could also move some of their relievers, with the Phillies and Cardinals having already checked in on the availability of Chad Qualls and Heath Bell.[FoxSports.com]

SHIPPING HANLEY?: Are the Marlins better off without Hanley Ramirez? Ramirez is in the third year of a six-year, $70 million contract that pays him $46.5 million over the next three years and does not include a no-trade clause. [Palm Beach Post]

MADDON APOLOGIZES: Joe Maddon didn't intentionally pull the wool over the eyes of umpires Monday by not having Sam Fuld face a batter after warming up in the eighth inning, it's just that Bob Davidson was behind the plate, and he didn't know the rule any better than Maddon did. Maddon apologized to the umpires and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. [Tampa Tribune]

FAUSTO FLOUNDERING: One Ohio team has already demoted its opening-day starter to the minors, and the other team may soon be sending its opening-day starter to the bullpen if he doesn't get it together. Cleveland's Fausto Carmona is 4-9 with a 6.17 ERA in 16 starts this season and is 1-6 with a 9.73 ERA over his last seven starts. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

ESCOBAR IMPROVING: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar has seen his batting average rise nearly 50 points in the last two weeks, and his glove was already playing at a high level. Is the one big-league player the Royals got from the Zack Greinke trade beginning to show why the Royals thought he could be part of their next wave of talent? [Kansas City Star]

HEADED HOME?: The Hanshin Tigers are scouting Hideki Matsui and Kosuke Fukudome if either Japanese player decides to return to Japan after the season. Fukudome would be a better fit for the Tigers, who play in Japan's Central League. Like in MLB, NPB has one league with the DH (the Pacific League) and one without (the Central League). [YakyuBaka.com]

GREEN LIGHT: The Rangers' Craig Gentry is pretty fast. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

RESPECT: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sometimes goes out of his way to tweak the Cubs and Cubs fans, but not when he's talking about the other Chicago team's shortstop, Starlin Castro. Guillen calls Castro "amazing." Guillen gave some encouraging words to Castro after Monday's game, and that meant a lot to the young Cub. [Chicago Sun-Times]

TURNING 20: Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez celebrated the 20th anniversary of his big-league debut Monday. The 39-year-old Rodriguez has 13 Gold Gloves and an MVP since he came up as a 19-year-old with the Rangers. [MLB.com]

NICE PICK: With the Yankees in town, the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with former Reds first-round pick Chad Mottola, who was taken with the pick before the Yankees took Derek Jeter. Mo Egger of ESPN 1530 in Cincinnati breaks down why Mottola wouldn't have played for the Reds even if they picked him. Hint, his name is Barry Larkin.

ARMS SALE: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times looks at what the Mariners could get for Jason Vargas or Doug Fister, two guys who are having pretty decent years.

COMPELLING CAMPANA: A great story in The Tennessean about Cubs outfielder Tony Campana. As a kid in Franklin, Tenn., Campana battled Hodgkin's disease and couldn't play baseball, but was still in the dugout with his teammates, cheering them on. His coaches at the time didn't think he'd survive, much less be in the big leagues.

WORTHY CAUSE: There's a petition online to have Vin Scully call one more World Series. Scully hasn't called a World Series on TV since 1988 and is still one of the best. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]

CUTTER CUT: The Jays have told recently demoted Kyle Drabek to shelve his cutter for now. The team wanted him concentrating more on his fastball, but he kept going back to the cutter more than the team liked. The Jays hope he gains confidence in his fastball and lessens his reliance on the cutter. [National Post]

NO CHANGE IN POSTING: The posting system for Japanese players coming to the United States won't change, NPB Tracker passes along (since I can't read the original Sanspo report).

GOLDEN GROOMING: You may have missed the Golden Groomer Award, a monthly award given to the baseball player with the best facial hair. The last winner was Reds minor league catcher Corky Miller. [OMGReds.com]

LOGO FUN: Check out this really cool graphic of all the team's cap insignias since 1950 (including batting practice). Hat tip to the fine folks at the UniWatchBlog, which had a cool thing worth reading about spotting baseball fields from the sky.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 6:37 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 9:04 am

Ramirez says he did not know about team meeting

By Evan Brunell

RamirezHanley Ramirez was benched Monday in Jack McKeon's return to managing for not running hard enough during the game Sunday. But it didn't help matters that Ramirez missed a team meeting at 3:30 p.m. Monnday. The “stretch is at 4:30 and I was there before 4:30 so I wasn’t late," Ramirez told the Palm Beach Post. “Some guys come in early, they come in at 3. I come in at 3:30 every day,” he said.

But one source inside the organization refuted that, saying that Ramirez was the only player not present when the team met, and that all players knew about the meeting.

Ramirez added that he's already talked to McKeon about his struggles this season, as the 2006 Rookie of the Year is hitting just .200/.298/.295 on the year in 229 plate appearances.

“Obviously, he knows what kind of player I am," the shorstop said. "I haven’t shown it this year. He believes in me and I believe in myself that I should be hitting third or fourth all year long but things haven’t gone the way they’re supposed to go and everybody’s been waiting. But we’re still fighting out there on the field.”

Meanwhile, Florida has lost 11 straight and is 2-21 in its last 23 games.

“We just need one game. That’s what we need," Ramirez said. "We just need that inspiration and that motivation. That’s like hitting. You just need one click and go from there. So we just need one game and I think we’re going to go for there.”

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 6:25 pm

McKeon's first move: bench Hanley

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hanley RamirezJack McKeon is making a mark in his first game as the Marlins' interim manager, benching Hanley Ramirez for tonight's game against the Angels.

Ramirez was late to the clubhouse on the new boss' first day (according to Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post), but it was because of Ramirez's play on Sunday that the new manager benched the team's shortstop. McKeon told reporters he didn't like the way Ramirez was running in Sunday's game.

Ramirez was 0 for 3 on Sunday and is now hitting .201/.300/.296. 

Ramirez spoke out in favor of former manager Edwin Rodriguez in the last couple of days, I'm not expecting anything like that soon from him in favor of McKeon.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com