I woke up this morning (technically it was already the afternoon) to read some of the saddest news I have ever heard as a Red Sox fan. Like, my heart actually sank, and it left me so confused that I scrambled to twitter to find Jared Carrabis’ blog on it. I’m sorry to say but the Barstool blogger’s words did not help the pain in my chest the slightest… Hanley Ramirez has been designated for assignment. What this means is the Red Sox have seven days to trade or release him, meaning Hanley will no longer be a member of the Red Sox moving forward.
Now, I guess the good news is that Dombrowski did this in order to make room for Dustin Pedroia who was activated today after a lengthy recovery. Hooray. However, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE did not expect Hanley to be the guy that they move on from in order to make room for Pedey. Eduardo Nuñez, normally a backup to Pedroia, was someone everyone had their eyes on. He has an abysmal .637 OPS this season, and his defense sucks. No fancy word for that one, his defense just sucks. Cutting him wouldn’t cost the Sox $15 million in dead money, and it would help clear out the middle infield, considering there is another middle infielder coming back.
Blake Swihart was the other name floating around. He has 33 plate appearances this year, mostly as a pinch hitter, and is hitting .133 in those PAs. Also, no one really knows what position he would play if he actually became a part of the regular rotation. He originally came into the Boston organization as a catcher, but with Vazquez and Sandy there, he’s bounced around playing some 1B and OF. It’s sort of like a Brock Holt situation, except he never plays so no one really knows if he’s good at those positions or not. Oh yeah, and his agent already asked the Red Sox to trade him considering how little playing time he gets. Meaning that if Dombrowski trades him, he’s happy to have a roster spot for Pedroia, and Swihart is happy to move on from a team that doesn’t know what to do with him. But NOPE, let’s move on from the guy that everybody loved instead.
Other people will cite that Hanley was 0-20 or whatever in these last few games, and that his May kinda sucked. And by kinda, I mean he was hitting just .163, not great. But on the year, he was hitting a decent .254, and his amazing April sparked the Red Sox to that early run they went on, giving them a leg up on the division. (Swihart is batting .100 in May by the way). If Ramirez was a new veteran they signed for cheap, and provided a month of good before a month of suck, then yeah, fine, we’ve seen enough. However, since he came to Boston in 2015, his OPS has always stayed above .700, and it was .866 in 2016. So to look at one poor month and use it to determine what Hanley still has left in the tank is simply ridiculous.
And oh yeah, Hanley was pretty much the heart and sole of this godforsaken team. Look at the previous successful Red Sox teams, in 2004 they had Papi and Manny as huge personalities, carrying them to a World Series. 2007 saw much of the same, with the rise of a ROY Dustin Pedroia. In 2013 there was the Band of Bearded Brothers, and personality oozed out of that locker room. This year? Sure you have the guys joking around a bit, but I don’t really know much about them if we’re being honest. You never hear from guys like Mookie, or Bogaerts, and I’m still not really sure what J.D. Martinez’s voice sounds like. But there was one guy who always made us Sox fans smile, and kept this team’s locker room light and upbeat, and it was Hanley freakin’ Ramirez. And now, there’s next to nothing in that clubhouse.
So Mr. Ramirez, I hope you know that Dave Lugnut-for-a-Brain Dombrowski’s decision does not reflect how Sox Nation feels about you. You gave this team a personality, something that was severely lacking since that 2013 team. I hope you enjoy your free $15 million they still have to give you, and the best of luck in your coming adventures. May you bring joy to another fanbase like you did with us.