Hanley Ramirez says pain in lower back and upper leg is “worst he’s ever felt”

Florida Marlins Hanley Ramirez lies on the ground as he throws the ball to second base in the second inning during their MLB National League baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Miami, Florida, April 9, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets the pain in Hanley Ramirez’s lower back and upper left leg is “the worst he has ever felt” in his life.

From Rotoworld.com:

For example, Ramirez said he can’t even put his shoes on. That’s no good. The 27-year-old has tried to play through the lingering back pain, which helps explain his uncharacteristic .210/.306/.309 batting line to begin the season. The Marlins haven’t mentioned anything about a potential DL-stint, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he missed a few days this week, at the very least.

Maybe it is time for Ramirez to make a trip to the DL. I remember when he was working out in the offseason and seemed to have a renewed sense of pride in his craft. Now he’s in the midst of his worst season as a professional and if he’s hurt, then pressing isn’t going to help the issue.

Of course, fantasy owners have a real dilemma on their hands. If you drafted him and haven’t dealt him yet, then you’re probably not going to get fair value for him right now unless other owners in your league haven’t been paying attention to his injury situation. At this point, it might be best to ride it out provided that you have other options. If you can pick up someone like Alex Gonzalez, Ryan Theriot or Jason Bartlett in the meantime, maybe Ramirez’s situation will eventually play itself out.

Or, if he is in a ton of pain and you think this is going to be an issue all season, then nobody would fault you for bailing now and seeing what you can get in a trade (assuming you don’t play in a keeper league). But if it were me, I’d be patient. This is a career .307 hitter we’re talking about here. One would think he will turn it around eventually.

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Hanley Ramirez says that now he’s motivated

Hanley Ramirez told reporters over the weekend that he’s very motivated to rebound in 2011. He even joked that he will be the first player to “win Rookie of the Year twice.”

From the Miami Herald:

“I’m going to be the first player to win Rookie of the Year twice,” Hanley Ramirez playfully told the Marlins and his agent this winter. That’s obviously impossible, but his message – as agent Andy Mota explained – is clear: Ramirez “has the hunger of a rookie” after a humbling 2010.

“Everyone will be very surprised with the new Hanley and his whole makeup,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “He is very motivated. He was very disappointed in his season. He knows the whole offense revolves around him.”

That’s great, but where was this “hunger of a rookie” last year? Dude makes almost $12 million a year – why can’t the Marlins get his best effort every season?

Players have up and down seasons – that’s just part of being an athlete. But one thing that Ramirez seems to have a problem with effort. Nobody questions his ability as a player – it’s his drive and focus that are the problem. He doesn’t always hustle and he doesn’t always adjust when his game needs tweaking. As the Miami Herald article points out, he gave away at bats last year because he was unwilling or unable to adjust his approach at the plate. When athletes get older, they have to adjust their game because the opposition knows how to attack their weaknesses.

Will Ramirez be a player that evolves over time or will he continue to rest on his natural abilities? Furthermore, will he put in the work and dedication needed to become one of the very best? He certainly has the athletic ability but does he have the drive? Considering he started his workouts a month early this year, it looks like he does. But we’ll see.

Marlins, Braves working on a deal for Dan Uggla

July 29, 2010: San Francisco,CA. Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla  in action, during the game between the Florida Marlins and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco,California. The Marlins shutout the Giants 5-0. Jeff Trouette/CSM.

The haunting images of Brooks Conrad turning this year’s postseason into his own personal error fest may soon vanish for Braves fans. That’s because Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that Atlanta may be on the verge of acquiring second baseman Dan Uggla.

Wait a tick, wasn’t Uggla the only player to make three errors in a single All-Star Game? Uh…yeah. Moving on…

Rosenthal writes that the Marlins would send Uggla to the Braves in exchange for Omar Infante and left-hander Mike Dunn. Not that Infante and Dunn are Neifi Perez and Armando Benitez, but really? That’s it, Marlins? That’s all you want for Dan Uggla? There’s reason to believe that Uggla won’t match his numbers from 2010 but the compensation here seems awfully light.

That said, this is just what Rosenthal is reporting. He’s a respected baseball reporter, but who knows what clubs are actually discussing at this point in the offseason. It’s early and Rosenthal may be way off in his report.

But if this were the deal that eventually goes down, the Marlins would be getting a steal.

Marlins’ Ronny Paulino suspended 50 games for PED use

Florida Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino (R) celebrates with pitcher Burke Badenhop their victory over the Washington Nationals after their MLB National League baseball game in Washington August 10, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

According to a report by MLB.com, Marlins’ catcher Ronny Paulino was suspended 50 games on Friday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Paulino says the drug was a dietary pill to control his weight and will not appeal the suspension.

“To control my weight this season, I used a dietary pill,” Paulino said in a statement released by the Marlins. “Regretfully, I recently learned that the dietary pill contained a substance banned under Major League Baseball’s drug policy. I am ashamed and saddened for disappointing and distracting my family, my teammates, the entire Florida Marlins organization and baseball fans. My heartfelt and most sincere apology.”

The last Major Leaguer suspended for testing positive under MLB’s Drug Policy was Reds starter Edinson Volquez on April 20. Volquez wound up serving his 50-game suspension while on the disabled list. Prior to Volquez, Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez received a 50-game penalty in May 2009.

It’s good to see Paulino own up to the situation and not appeal the suspension. It’s akin to getting pulled over for speeding and even though you know you’re in the wrong, you challenge the police officer that pulled you over. Just take the ticket like a man and slow down.

Are dietary pills and HGH in the same category when it comes to giving a player an advantage on the field? Absolutely not, but the bottom line is that they’re both on the banned substance list and players have to take responsibility for what they putting into their bodies.

Is Ozzie Gullen the Marlins’ top choice?

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen comes out of the dugout to argue a call against the Chicago Cubs during the second inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on June 27, 2010.  UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

According to the Chicago Tribune, White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen is the Marlins’ top choice to replace Fredi Gonzalez as manager if he were to become available after the season.

The Marlins’ decision to keep Edwin Rodriguez as manager through the end of the year came about because ownership wants to see which managers are available after the season. Ozzie Guillen would be at the top of the Marlins’ list if he were available. …

It’s a little odd that the Tribune would have that sort of information hidden in an article and not provide more details as to why the Marlins want Ozzie. But maybe they don’t have any more information outside of that.

Guillen was a coach with the Marlins in 2003 when they won the World Series, so he has ties to Florida. There’s no doubt he could provide a spark for the Marlins young roster and he’s already proved that he can win. It wouldn’t be a bad fit.

One thing’s for sure, I would want front row seats to the first Ozzie-Hanley argument if Guillen does wind up in South Florida. What a fireworks display that would be.

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