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Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen praises Hanley Ramirez but wants him to step-up every game

 

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

As happy as Ozzie Guillen was to see Hanley Ramirez initiate Saturday’s players-only meeting, the Marlins manager said what he wants to see from the three-time All-Star is the same effort and ability every day.

“We need that,’’ Guillen said of Ramirez’s leadership. “But leadership is not just the clubhouse. It’s everywhere. I said when I got this job the main man is Hanley Ramirez. I wish he could be a leader 162 games, every game. ... You lead by example. Hanley wants to be our leader? You’ve got to go out there and make sure your teammates know you’re for real and play the game right.’’

Ramirez, who hit .342 and won the batting title in 2009, is hitting .258 with 11 homers and 40 RBI this season. But his two-run triple Sunday in the seventh — after an 0-for-3 start — was an encouraging sign to Guillen and others.

“I’m glad to see Hanley Ramirez have that at-bat. That’s the Hanley Ramirez we want to see — the guy who is going to hit to the gaps, not the home run guy, whatever,’’ Guillen said.

As much as his teammates said they were happy to see and hear Ramirez speak up in the clubhouse, they agreed Ramirez needs to follow them with actions on the field.

“We need him to get big hits and step up and talk the talk and walk the walk,’’ said Logan Morrison, who drove Ramirez in after his triple with a sacrifice fly. “... Usually I’ve seen him pull up at second, but he goes to third and [provides] an RBI opportunity by getting to third base. In 8-0 game, he didn’t need to do that.’’

Ramirez wasn’t the only player to speak up and talk during the players only meeting. Catcher John Buck said he, pitcher Carlos Zambrano and veteran Greg Dobbs were among those who also voiced their concerns at the players’ meeting.

"What [Ramirez] did was huge because of the things he stirred up,’’ Buck said.

“... There was nothing premeditated about. There was nothing for show. And I think everybody felt it. It was perfectly said in a bad time, at a time we needed to hear it. And we needed to hear it from that person. So, it was good.’’

• Former Miami Westminster Christian star and Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia said Sunday he enjoyed his first trip back home as a major-leaguer.

“It’s kind of crazy hearing people call my name and I look up and it’s somebody I played with in high school or someone I knew when I was a little kid playing at Flagami Khoury League. It’s cool,’’ said Arencibia, who was taken 21st overall by the Blue Jays in the 2007 draft (nine picks after the Marlins took third baseman Matt Dominguez).

“My sister has six kids and they’ve all been here [for the three games].’’

Coming up

•  Monday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 5.16 ERA) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook (6-6, 3.83), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

•  Tuesday: Marlins RHP Carlos Zambrano (4-5, 4.01) vs. Cardinals RHP Kyle Lohse (6-2, 2.85), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

•  Scouting report: Nolasco is 0-3 with an 8.80 ERA over his past three starts. He is 0-4 with a 6.19 ERA all-time against the Cardinals. Westbrook is 1-0 with a 2.96 ERA in four career starts vs. the Marlins.

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