Airing the Marlins’ Dirty Laundry in Public

By now, we’ve all seen The Jog, Monday’s clip of Hanley Ramirez lollygagging after a ball he’d kicked into left field as two runs scored. Joe Posnanski called it “devastating” and “nauseating.” “That’s not the way the game’s supposed to be played,” said his teammate, Wes Helms. Hanley was pulled out of the game at the end of the inning and rode the pine on Tuesday; “We all support what skipper did,” said Dan Uggla. Really, just about everyone, from Uggla to Posnanski to our own Jack Moore approved of manager Fredi Gonzalez’s austere treatment of his moody star. Hanley finally apologized and played in yesterday’s game.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. It turns out that, before Hanley’s apology, Andre Dawson took him in a room (with fellow Hall of Famer standing post) and chewed him out:

Look, I’m going to level with you. You either hear me or you don’t. For one, you’re not bigger than the game. You don’t show a manager up. The way you’re going about this is literally the wrong way. It’s an immature act … and this could come back to bite you in the rear end in the worst way…

You really have stepped across the line. You owe that manager a sincere apology. And if you think your teammates have your back with this, you’ve got another thing coming because the mind-set, and this is from me to you, the mind-set is these guys are laughing at you.

We know all of this because Dawson told the Palm Beach Post. Apparently, “This is from me to you” didn’t preclude Dawson sharing the conversation with the press. Perhaps Dawson calculated that making it public was best for Hanley’s development, that he deserved to be called out in the most public way possible — though, because the story paints Dawson in the most favorable possible light, it’s also easy to believe that Dawson was motivated by the desire to look good. But even in a world with mic’ed up managers, a full forty years after Jim Bouton’s Ball Four, what happens in the clubhouse usually stays in the clubhouse. In this case, it didn’t.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Hanley has had problems in the clubhouse. Last fall, he and Uggla got into a major spat when he came out of a game with cramps and Uggla thought he should have stayed in the game. Jayson Stark quotes an anonymous ex-Marlin saying,

Hanley frustrates the guys on that team, because everyone knows how much talent he has. Everyone has seen how great he can be out there. But then they also see the times where he just kind of gets nonchalant. It seems like he can turn the switch on any time he wants to. But he doesn’t always turn it on.

Hanley isn’t going anywhere. He’s signed through 2014, and he’s not just the best and most expensive player on the team, he’s the greatest player in the history of the franchise. (Sorry, Jeff Conine.) So the Marlins just have to live with his foibles, in public and in private.

But Dawson’s move may be counterproductive. Stark’s source says of Ramirez, “When something goes bad, then [Hanley] thinks everyone’s against him.” In other words, says Posnanski: Hanley Ramirez “has a persecution complex.” It’s hard to imagine that he’ll feel any better after reading his man-to-man with Dawson in the newspaper. It’s clear that Hanley isn’t completely comfortable in his own skin yet. So, was Dawson right, that going public with tough love is the only way that Ramirez will ever learn? Or did Dawson cross a line of his own?



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Alex is a writer for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times, and is a product manager for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @alexremington.


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Joe
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Joe
6 years 9 days ago

That Miguel Cabrera was pretty good. Not to mention, future Hall of Famer (Should be annyway) Gary Sheffield.

payday0023
Guest
payday0023
6 years 9 days ago

Yet the Ms rally around Griffey for sleeping in the club house…. What a funny sport with funny rules that aren’t written down. It’s like the British government.

Chris
Guest
Chris
6 years 9 days ago

Dawson did the right thing in taking Hanley aside and chewing him out. Some of these guys, if they think that this stuff will stay private, will brush it off. They’ll straighten out for a while then turn around to their old ways. But by airing out the dirty laundry this makes every one aware of what a child Hanley has been. He has no where to hide from his behavior and knows that people will be watching him more closely. He’s seen where childish behavior (albeit much more violent) got Bradley, no one wants the guy despite any talent and ability that he may or may not have any more. No one wants to deal with it.

Hopefully this does straighten out Hanley a little bit more. He’s got to know that this behavior is unacceptable and that he must grow up.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
6 years 9 days ago

And, the Hanley cant dismis Andre with tthe “you didnt play the game, you dont know how this is done” stuff he gave Fredi. Andre not only is a hall of famer, but a very well respected one at that. Hanley was left with no alternative after Andre was done.

Joseph
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Joseph
6 years 9 days ago

I don’t get it, did Dawson script his speech to Hanley?

really
Guest
really
6 years 9 days ago

It’s impossible to tell without being personally familiar with the dynamic between the two.

Typically, I would say it’s wrong for a manager or coach to air out a player in public. But in this case, Hanley embarrassed Gonzalez in public, so turnabout is fair play. The only question is whether this tactic will be effective, and again, there’s no way to know that from afar. People are different.

Michael
Member
6 years 9 days ago

I feel like Fredi started it by railing on him to the media to begin with. The whole thing could have been handled internally without the media strife, but Gonzalez undressed him about his effort and compared him to specific teammates. It wasn’t as harsh as Hanley’s comments, but it was just as public.

nothingxs
Guest
6 years 9 days ago

Unfortunately, Hanley needed a public undressing.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
6 years 8 days ago

I may have missed it but did Fredi “rail” at any point? He was asked about it, and you can’t really duck the question, and his responses always seemed quite diplomatic and even-keeled.

Carligula
Guest
Carligula
6 years 9 days ago

Meta-question: why do sabr-bloggers reflexively (in my experience) come out in support of loafers, PED-users, etc? Are they just so nauseated at the possibility of agreeing with mainstream media that they have to talk themselves into the opposite viewpoint?

Reuben
Guest
6 years 8 days ago

Here, we like to see evidence. Links please?

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
6 years 8 days ago

No kidding. I don’t read anything in there that condones what Hanley did; he is pretty clearly wrong in what he did on the field in this incident, and also in his initial off-the-field response. Have you read anything here or otherwise that states differently? If so can we have the link?

The article is simply asking whether Dawson’s approach was the best one for defusing the situation.

Part-time Pariah
Guest
Part-time Pariah
6 years 9 days ago

So wait, what stat are we talking about?

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