…this prolonged period of silence to rejoice in the fact that HANLEY IS GONE!!!! I know, the Celtics just lost Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, a truly impressive run; the Bruins are a few weeks removed from a fairly successful season of their own; the Red Sox currently have the best record in baseball and Tom Brady (plus Rob Gronkowski) is being a colossal baby.
But THIS is what brings the Blowhard out of hibernation?? Sure does! It’s some of the better news we have gotten recently, as silly as this sounds. But we feel the need to write something about it, no matter. And we promise to cover the other stuff soon as well.
HANLEY IS GONE!!! I’m sorry, that just felt good to say again.
Now, Hanley is not entirely gone yet. Since being designated for assignment last Friday, he is still kind of in limbo. I suppose there is always a chance Hanley could end up in Pawtucket, if he agrees to it, that is. That would seem to be unlikely, however. He will definitely clear waivers if he hasn’t already…no one is picking up that contract. He could well be traded for a bag of baseballs and some batting practice pitcher screens. But even though the club that acquires him would only be responsible for the major league minimum salary, this may not happen either.
In a few days, Ramirez will likely be released. Ending a stint that gave the Sox .260/.326/.450 for a .776 OPS over 431 games over parts of 5 seasons with the team. 5 seasons? Yup, Hanley had 2 AB’s (2 K’s) as a 21-year-old in 2005, the year before he was dealt as part of a trade for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and I think other flotsam. Who remembered that?! Not me…thank you Baseball-Reference.com!
Ok, so it’s really the 4 years, 88 mil that Hanley stole from the Sox from 2015-2018 that is the problem. Sure, 2016 had some highlights. But other than a few then, a colossal waste.
Left field was a disaster in 2015, and although we can’t entirely blame Ramirez because he shouldn’t have been stuck there, we CAN blame him for a complete lack of effort in trying to get better out there. Jeez, guys like Mike Greenwell, Jim Rice and even Manny Ramirez became at least serviceable out there during there careers…for the 81 games in the small left field in Fenway anyway. Hanley didn’t even try.
Hanley WAS serviceable at first base in 2016. However, 2017 came and he basically refused to play there again. There was some bogus shoulder injury or something. Then in 2018 he comes in all ready to play first and was chirping about a 30/30 season or some nonsense along those lines.
I don’t think anyone who follows the team, specifically principal owner John Henry, wanted to see Hanley rack up the 497 plate appearances during the 2018 season, that would vest the 22 million dollar option for 2019. Yet here he was in the lineup every day, middle of the order, and actually having a strong April. Whoops.
Then Friday happened. Did anyone see this one coming? I think not. The little leader in Dustin Pedroia was to be activated and I think everyone believed (former) prospect Blake Swihart would be the casualty. I think the Sox took huge advantage of Hanley being 0 for his last 20 and down to .254/.313/.395 to make this move. What if he was still hitting over .300? Perfect timing. I’d also call that “dodging a bullet”.
By giving Ramirez all of that playing time early on, they were playing with fire on that 2019 option. What if he kept the hot April going and later in the year started approaching those 30/30 predictions? Hanley looked to be in decent shape, seemed to be playing a good first base, appeared to have had a better attitude this year and all that. You never know…especially when there is a carrot worth 22 million dangling in front of him.
The Sox lucked out that Hanley cooled off. Simple as that.
Now, would losing Swihart have been the end of the world? Most assuredly not. He just would have gone on that long list of especially recent “hot prospects” that the Sox hung onto too long before everyone realized that…they weren’t really prospects after all. So they haven’t even been able (or willing?) to trade high on them before they all flamed out. Brian Johnson is one currently on the team. But you know, Will Middlebrooks, Garin Cecchini, Henry Owens, Lars Anderson, Michael Bowden, Ryan Lavarnway…the list is endless. You can probably also throw in their top 2 2018 prospects in Jason Groome (Tommy John surgery recently) and Michael Chavis (80 game PED suspension)…but I digress…
Something about Blake I like though…but I could be wrong…since he is still being buried now. We’ll see.
Ok, this looks like about 800 plus words and it was supposed to be just a few words to get back into the swing of things. So Hanley Ramirez is gone and I am clearly happy. But this Sox team still has a lot of the same unlikeable characters from last year. This may explain why I am still not in love with the team despite their success thus far this year. A story for a different day perhaps.
But if they could DFA David Price, Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr. also, that may help me a little bit…
Posted on May 30, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged Alex Cora, American League, Blake Swihart, Boston Red Sox, David Price, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, John Henry, Michael Chavis. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.