Though Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (above, left) has raised his batting average and on base percentage considerably since Jack McKeon’s appointment as manager, the 7-year veteran has seen a steep decline in his offensive production since an MVP-runner up finish in 2009. While Ramirez’ numbers alone are a cause for concern, the questionable work ethic that drove Fredi Gonzalez to distraction is once again a talking point, this time courtesy former Marlin Jeff Conine, currently toiling for the club’s front office. Speaking with 790 The Ticket’s Dan Le Batard Friday, Conine delivered a scathing assessment of Ramirez, the likes of which probably won’t escape the notice of owner Jeffrey Loria, who’s already established himself as an undermining force each time his prized pet is asked by someone else to be accountable. (Interview transcription courtesy the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi)
Does Jeff Conine get frustrated by Hanley Ramirez?
“On a nightly basis.’’
“I just, I don’t know, I think that obviously Hanley is a phenomenal talent. But as a guy that… I’m probably jealous too because I didn’t have that kind of talent but I had to work extremely hard on a nightly basis to put my talent on the field . I think that there are some nights when he doesn’t work as hard as he should.’’
Does he care enough?
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe that’s part of the problem but you know he is no doubt one of the top talents in baseball and you hope at some point he would get it and become a leader in the clubhouse like he can be on the field.’’
I don’t want to put words in your mouth but it sounds like you find, given how hard you hard to work and given that you don’t think he works to maximum capacity all the time, yes or no, you don’t think he respects the game?
“I would say if you define that as not going out there and putting 100 percent on the field every day, yeah, I would say no he doesn’t.”
Would you trade him if it were up to you?
“If it were up to me, probably.’’