The news of Hanley Ramirez’s trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers early Wednesday morning was received in many different forms by his former Marlins teammates.
Some saw it on Twitter. Others — like catcher John Buck — were informed by their wife or girlfriend when they woke up. Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio got it personally from Ramirez himself, who sent them text messages.
“He said, ‘Come to the ballpark, I’m packing my stuff, I’m leaving,’ ’’ Reyes said. “I said, ‘No, you’re kidding.’ When I got here I saw his locker clean.
“It’s sad to see Hanley go to another team. We built a great relationship. I feel he was one of my brothers here on the team. ... You kind of get sad a little bit.’’
Sad to see him go might be the way a few of Ramirez’s former Marlins teammates felt. But not everyone.
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.’’
Asked if the trade was good or bad for the Marlins clubhouse, Logan Morrison said: “It would be good to have Hanley Ramirez hitting .342 like he did in 2009 still here. But other than that, that’s all I’m going to say about that.’’
While some players like Bonifacio and Edward Mujica said Ramirez was a good teammate, others simply declined comment. One said: “I don’t want to lie’’ about his character.
Among the bigger complaints from a couple teammates regarding Ramirez: the fact he blasted his music, flashed his jewelry and didn’t seem to be bothered sometimes after losses. One player, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Ramirez treated assistants and staffers “like crap.’’
“You couldn’t pop off back at him or lay him on his [butt] for it,’’ the player said. “What’s going to happen? He’s going to stay here and I’m going to be gone.’’
That attitude, a couple players said, led to others guys questioning whether they too had to follow every rule. One player said that Ramirez’s behavior “pulled Reyes down with him.’’
Ramirez said the reason he clashed with some in the organization was because he was “like [manager] Ozzie Guillen. I’m just honest.’’
Guillen defended Ramirez on Wednesday, saying he played the game the right way for him. Guillen also said if anyone in the clubhouse blames Ramirez for the Marlins’ struggles this season, “they’re full of [expletive].’’
‘Taking a risk’
“We are taking a risk here sending him to be good for somebody else,’’ Guillen said. “But that’s a risk you have to take in this business.’’
Buck said Ramirez, who called a team meeting during the team’s June swoon, isn’t as bad a teammate as some may make him out to be.
“That’s kind of what I heard when I got here — that he was a bad teammate,’’ Buck said. “But from the time I got here until now I can honestly say he became a better teammate without a doubt. When he left he was giving hugs to guys, and from what I hear it might not have happened in the past.
“It’s real easy to jump on the guy and say we got rid of the problem. That’s unfair to him. It wasn’t Hanley’s fault — the lack of him being a vocal leader or a cool guy to some guys in here — that we are losing. It’s ridiculous to put it on him. It’s on all of us."