There's trouble in the Florida Marlins clubhouse, and not surprisingly, Hanley Ramirez is at the center of the conflict once again.
The Marlins' three-time All-Star shortstop blasted former Marlin (and current assistant to president David Samson) Jeff Conine on Tuesday.
Reacting to some disparaging comments Conine made on The Dan LeBatard Show on 790-The Ticket last week, Ramirez called Conine "chicken" and vowed to replace him in the title of "Mr. Marlin."
"I think he wants to be Mr. Marlin forever," Ramirez said to the Miami Herald. "It won't happen. I'm coming, baby. I think I'm going to be Mr. Marlin. That's my goal now. I wasn't thinking about that (before Conine's comments)."
Last week after complaining to LeBatard "I think there are some nights where he doesn't try as hard as he should," Conine said he would trade Ramirez.
Ramirez didn't appreciate Conine taking his complaints to the media.
"If he's got a problem, just come over and talk to me like a man," Ramirez told the Herald. "Don't be a chicken, talking on the (radio), because whatever you say is going to stay out there."
He also didn't appreciate the timing of Conine's comments.
"Why now?" he said, ""There are a lot of worse guys than me out there. But nobody knows because nobody pays attention. When I'm on the field, I'm just being me. I'm playing my game. It's how I've got to play."
The Marlins have not reacted to Ramirez publicly yet. But Conine may want to update his resume, because the last guy who quarreled with Ramirez found himself without a job shortly thereafter.
David Hill is a Miami native and cofounder of Marlins Diehards, the only Florida Marlins blog with perspective on the eccentricities of Marlins fandom.