2009 has truly been the year in which the simmering animosity between Florida’s Hanley Ramirez (above, left) and his paymasters/teammates came to a full boil. To recap, in March, the Marlins charged Ramirez with violating the team’s dress code. In May, the Diminutive Accujack Enthusiast refused to call the all-universe shortstop “the face of the franchise” In June, the oft-plunked Ramirez suggested his team’s pitching staff was reluctant to retaliate. And this past Tuesday night, Ramirez and 2B Dan Uggla clashed over the former’s decision to leave that evening’s game with Atlanta over an alleged left hamstring cramp. Ramirez didn’t feature in Florida’s dramatic 8-7 defeat of the Braves last night, a situation Yahoo’s Gordon Edes summarizes thusly ; “there are those inside and outside the organization who wonder if Ramirez possesses the drive that separates the truly great from the merely gifted. Sometimes, the doubters include teammates, which evidently was the case in the last 24 hours.”
On Tuesday night, Ramirez, in a 0 for 14 slump, his longest hitless streak in more than two seasons, removed himself after the fourth inning because of what he said was cramping in his left hamstring. When he showed up at the ballpark Wednesday, he told manager Fredi Gonzalez that he was OK, and Gonzalez put him in the lineup. But later, Ramirez told reporters that his hamstring was œonly 10 percent but he felt obligated to play because some teammates were unhappy with him.
œA couple of guys did like this when I came out, Ramirez said, throwing up his arms, according to Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel.
Uggla, sitting at a nearby cubicle, overheard Ramirez and said, ˜I was one of them.
Ramirez turned to the reporters. œYou got it, he said. œShowed me up.
Uggla questioned Ramirez™s commitment to winning and at one point said, œYeah, you got your $70 million, referring to Ramirez™s six-year contract.
Soon the argument escalated to shouting, causing Gonzalez to emerge from his office. Gonzalez removed Ramirez from the lineup, presumably after learning that the injury was bothering him more than he had let on earlier.