Sporting a Dodgers cap spun backward and a T-shirt with the I See You hand gesture he created not long after being traded to Los Angeles on July 26, Hanley Ramirez took a seat in the visiting dugout three hours before game time at Marlins Park and spent 10 minutes fielding questions about his first trip back to South Florida on Friday.
Its nice to be back home in Miami with his wife and kids; weird to be facing his former franchise; and good to be playing for a playoff contender for whom he has been told he doesnt have to be the hero.
I was hoping we could play three games in one day and get it over with, Ramirez joked of the three-game weekend series. But it is what it is. I spent seven years here. Its going to be a little weird playing against guys who were teammates for many years.
Ramirez, who hit .246 for the Marlins with 14 homers and 48 RBI in 93 games this season, came into Fridays game hitting .226 with one home run and 12 RBI in 14 games with the Dodgers.
Ramirez said the Dodgers arent putting any pressure on him to deliver, a welcome relief.
Im not trying to do too many things, he said. If I do something wrong, Im not going to disappoint the fans or the team. I have people here that tell me all the time, Dont try to be the hero; take it easy. Everybody here has your back.
Ramirez said the hardest part about leaving Miami was leaving his family behind. He said he speaks to his wife and children every night after games on Facetime a video chat program on his iPhone.
As for the I See You hand gesture he created (where he takes his thumb and index finger and puts them together in an oval shape and puts them over his eyes), Ramirez said it is a spinoff of the Lo Viste hand gesture created by former teammates Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante.
When I got to the Dodgers, I did Lo Viste for Bonifacio a couple times and it was cool, Ramirez said. But then I spoke with Dee Gordon and he said, Lets do something different. Youre no longer in Miami. Thats when we tried to do something new and came up with this. Its all for fun.
• Reliever Randy Choate, shipped off to the Dodgers along with Ramirez for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and another minor-league pitcher, spent about a half hour in the Marlins clubhouse before Fridays game, sharing laughs with just about everyone. At one point, a Marlins rep jokingly asked Choate if he was going to the Marlins pitchers meeting.
• Bonifacio, who reinjured his thumb in Washington last weekend, said he expects to return to the Marlins as soon as his stint on the disabled list is over Aug. 19. Bonifacio, who played catch Friday, aid he is going to hit off a tee Saturday.
• Shortstop Jose Reyes (hand) expects to return to the lineup Saturday.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-11, 4.95 ERA) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Joe Blanton (8-9, 4.52), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Sunday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (1-1, 1.50) vs. Dodgers LHP Chris Capuano (10-8, 3.29), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Nolasco has lost each of his past five starts and has a 7.16 ERA with 37 hits allowed over his past 27 2/3 innings. Blanton in 12 career starts against the Marlins is 7-4 with a 3.58 ERA.