The Miami Marlins' decision to trade 3B Hanley Ramirez to the LA Dodgers was met with much criticism from its fan base, but his own teammates seem less than upset about his removal from the team.
The Miami Herald asked a number of Marlins for their feelings about the trade, and more than a few seemed happy to see Ramirez gone. Indeed, only Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio (Ramirez' best friends on the team) expressed more than mild disappointment.
"There were a lot of smiles" when Ramirez was traded, according to one player who spoke to the Herald on the condition of anonymity. "They created a monster from a very good baseball player — gave him so much slack to do whatever the [expletive] he wanted because he was performing."
What bugged this player the most was Ramirez' decline in production in the three seasons since he won the 2009 NL batting title. "You can push some things aside when you're hitting .340 with 40 home runs," he said. "But when you're not playing and you're trying to be that same [jerk], it starts rubbing people the wrong way."
Good luck trying to figure out which player said that. Ramirez had been called out by teammates a number of times during his seven years on the team, including well-publicized dust-ups with Dan Uggla, Wes Helms, and Logan Morrison.
Morrison tried his best not to trash Ramirez too much, but his feelings about his former teammate were pretty clear. "It would be good to have Hanley Ramirez hitting .342 like he did in 2009 still here," he said. "But other than that, that's all I’m going to say about that."
Other players simply declined to comment, with one telling the Herald, "I don't want to lie." Yikes.
Reyes was the only player who expressed genuine regret. "It's sad to see Hanley go to another team," he said. "We built a great relationship. I feel he was one of my brothers here on the team." Catcher John Buck also took the high road, saying "It wasn’t Hanley's fault — the lack of him being a vocal leader or a cool guy to some guys in here — that we are losing."
"It's ridiculous to put it on him," he added. "It's on all of us."
Perhaps most damning was when one player said to the Herald that Ramirez' behavior "pulled Reyes down with him." Both have struggled in 2012, with Reyes hitting .273 - his worst season since 2005.
However, manager Ozzie Guillen did not find fault with Ramirez' antics, practically calling him a choir boy. "Hanley Ramirez had a great attitude with bad performance for me," he told the Sun Sentinel on Wednesday.
"I wish he had a bad attitude and produced. I would take that."