Last month, I asked Should the Marlins trade Hanley Ramirez? and the reaction was mixed. The guy is a tremendous talent but seems to be a Grade A jerk.
Then last week on the Dan LeBatard Show on 790 The Ticket in Miami, Marlins legend Jeff Conine (who is currently a special assistant with the team) echoed the sentiments that maybe it is time to move on from the troubled superstar.
“I just, I don’t know, I think that obviously Hanley is a phenomenal talent. 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.’’
“They asked me if I would trade him. I said yeah I would trade anybody if it was a good deal for the team,” Conine said.
So now, according to Clark Spencer of the Fish Bytes Marlins Blog at MiamiHearld.com, Ramirez has fired back, saying he would like to be the new Mr. Marlin.
“I think he wants to be Mr. Marlin forever,” Ramirez said of Conine, who was given that moniker during his eight seasons with the team. “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.”
Conine is a beloved figure around the Marlins, and Ramirez taking him on will not garner him any support from the fickle fan base. The fact is that Ramirez could have couched his comments differently and would not be opening himself up to additional criticism.
He could have easily come out and said, “while I respect Conine and his impact with the Marlins, in his current role with the organization I would have preferred he come up to me and speak man to man. I admire the adoration fans have for Mr. Marlin and I would love to one day have the fans regard me as the next Mr. Marlin.”
But then if he said that, I wouldn’t be writing this column, would I? Probably not. So keep doing what you’re doing Hanley.