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What Up, Hanley?

May 19, 2010 - Al Stephenson

I apologize for the title.  The other day I was substituting and walked into a classroom.  A student looked at me and said, "what up, dog?"  I had no response for him.  I should have tossed him out of the class as his comment showed no respect for a teacher.  I let it go.  Fredi Gonzalez did not do the same when it came to Hanley Ramirez.

For those of you who have not seen the video of Marlins shortstop and All Star Hanley Ramirez jogging after a pop fly single that he inadvertently kicked into the left field corner, check it out.   He did the one thing that baseball managers will not tolerate.  He did not hustle and that folks is not acceptable.

Ramirez was removed at the end of the inning and did not play the following day as punishment for his actions.  Then he did something that can only be described as stupid.  He took his manager to task, suggesting that he (Ramirez) lost respect for him.  He was hurting and was going as fast as he could.  Had Gonzalez played in the major leagues, he would have understood that.  Hanley Ramirez was not about to apologize to anyone.

OK Hanley.  Listen up.  Your lack of hustle was obvious.  Even hurting you can run faster than you did.  I personally think you were embarassed for kicking the ball away.  You shouldn't have been.  That can happen to anyone.  You should be tremendously embarassed for loafing.  THAT shouldn't happen to anyone.

The one thing that any athlete has complete control over is his hustle.  Some baseball players can't throw as hard as others.  Some will never hit as well as others.  Some can't run like the wind, but ALL can hustle. 

The view from my seat looks like this.  In all the sporting events I have been to in my life, I have never, EVER booed anyone.  Not a player, coach,  or official.  To me booing seems like petty, boorish behavior and besides it doesn't help a bit.  If I had been a Marlins fan and been in the stands for this game, I might have booed for the first time.

Gonzalez was right to make an example of Hanley Ramirez.  If a player will not hustle he simply should not play.  Gonzalez lack of major league playing experience has nothing to do with anything Hanley.  You were wrong.  Apologize to your manager, your teammates and anyone else that will listen.

No one, bench player or superstar, has the right to "dog" it! 


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