Hanley Ramirez loves Edwin Rodriguez, and he doesn't care if the whole world knows it.
Having seen his teammate Logan Morrison reprimanded for endorsing hitting coach John Mallee after he was fired, Ramirez did the only logical thing: sing the manager's praises before owner Jeffrey Loria gets the chance to fire him for the team's poor performance in June.
Ramirez told MLB.com this week he is behind Rodriguez all the way. "I'm on his side," Ramirez said. "I've got his back, till the death, man."
Ramirez didn't bother holding back, as you might have guessed. "Everything he is doing is good for the team," he said, adding, "He's a pretty good guy and a pretty good manager. He's smart."
How great is Rodriguez? Ramirez never finds himself questioning his authority.
"I'm never complaining about anything he does," he said And if Hanley isn't complaining, then everything must be A-okay, because boy does he like complaining!
Morrison was just as effusive about Mallee after his firing, but all that got him was a mild rebuke from management. Ramirez probably won't get the same treatment, unless Loria is dim enough to chastise his players for being too nice to their coaches.
On second thought, that sounds like something Loria or Marlins President David Samson could do, if left to their own devices.
But Hanley doesn't care, he just wants everyone to know that Rodriguez is way better than that other guy who used to manage the Marlins (whose name he might not even remember).
"He's the best guy we ever had here. He lets you play. We're going through things where everything is going bad right now. But he’s there for you."
Buried in Hanley's endorsement was at least one shrewd observation: "When the team wins, everybody wants to give credit to the players. When we don’t, everybody wants [to blame] the manager. That's not the way it is."
Sounds like he's familiar with Loria's track record.
David Hill is a Miami native who watched the OJ Simpson car chase on the jumbotron at Joe Robbie Stadium while attending a Marlins game on June 17, 1994.