The Miami Herald's Manny Navarro ventured into the Marlins' clubhouse Wednesday, and asked a bunch of Hanley Ramirez's ex-teammates how they felt about Ramírez going to the Dodgers in a trade. Here's the juiciest bit:
One player who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, "There were a lot of smiles’’ in the Marlins clubhouse Wednesday morning, happiness because a player disliked by many in the organization — but protected by the front office for years because he was producing — was finally gone.
"They created a monster from a very good baseball player — gave him so much slack to do whatever the [expletive] he wanted because he was performing,’’ the player said.
"You can push some things aside when you’re hitting .340 with 40 home runs. You say ‘He’s a [jerk], but I can deal with it. ... But when you’re not playing and you’re trying to be that same [jerk], it starts rubbing people the wrong way.’’
The rules have always been different for the big stars, and always will be. And it's probably not easy for a big star to change his attitude when he's an ex-big star. Which is why trading this particular ex-big star might have been the best thing for everyone involved. Even leaving aside the money the Marlins are saving.
There were a few other discouraging words, along with some diplomatic words, but at the same time Ramírez seems to have been well-liked by at least a few of his teammates. It's like most things, probably. The simple answer is that Hanley Ramírez was a cancer in the clubhouse, everyone's glad to be rid of him, and this is a classic case of addition by subtraction. But the truth is probably just a bit more complicated.
It was quite probably time for him to go. But let's not expect any miracles in his absence.