It seems that the code of baseball is in the news a lot lately, whether it's bunting during a no-hit bid or running across a pitcher's mound. Another code is playing when you're a little dinged up, and where the Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramirez is apparently a little lax.
The shortstop fouled a ball off his ankle in the first inning Monday at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks. But this sort of thing happens every day. You wrap it up and keep playing, as it's likely just a bruise. But in the second inning, Ramirez kicked a ball into the left field corner on a bloop hit by Tony Abreu, allowing two runs to score in what became a 5-1 loss. Ramirez appeared to jog after the ball. And Ramirez - a top-three pick in every fantasy league in which he's eligible - was benched for loafing.
The team officially said it was because of a sore ankle, but Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez didn't. "He got smoked with the ball in the ankle," Gonzalez said to MLB.com. "But whether he's hurt or not hurt, we felt like the effort wasn't there that we wanted. There are 24 guys out there, busting their butts."
It got worse Wednesday, with Ramirez still sulking. He had to be "reminded" about his manager's name and showed no respect for the decision. Teammate Wes Helms said he should apologize, and Ramirez says he won't. He was out of the lineup for Wednesday afternoon's game.
"I think he needs to talk to his teammates a little bit," Gonzalez said to the Palm Beach Post. "Whatever feelings he has for me are fine and dandy. We don't have to get along but I think he needs to get along with the 24 other guys on his team and when that happens we'll run him back in there. If he sets his ego aside, I think it will be good."
Ramirez is lucky he's so talented, because he'd be on the first bus to the minors otherwise.
Update: Ramirez apologized and was back in the Marlins' lineup on Wednesday.