Daily Distractions: What Derek Jeter taught a 22-year-old Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley Ramirez

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (left) participates in the first pitcher/infield drill of spring training. He considers retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter his idol. (@jphoornstra on Twitter)

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez learned many lessons in his rookie season with the Florida Marlins. One was a lesson in leadership.

“Don’t let my teammates down. Where I go, they go,” Ramirez recalled. “I’ve got to be their leader, keep my head up and play hard. Be a leader on and off the field.”

The message came directly from no higher authority than Derek Jeter, who knows a thing or two about leadership and is “pretty close” to Jesus.

So it was that Ramirez took on a leadership role with the Marlins early in his career. He was only 22, working on an eventual Rookie of the Year campaign, when he met Jeter during a series against the Yankees in June 2006.

When the Yankees’ shortstop announced his retirement Wednesday, Ramirez wrote an unusually candid tweet:

Why is Jeter Ramirez’s idol?

“Because he has respect for the game on and off the field, and how much dedication he’s put into the games,” Ramirez said. “We’re going to miss him in the game. Nobody I think can replace him.”

And not many players can get through to Ramirez like Jeter.

Some bullet points for Valentine’s Day:

• The Dodgers players watched a video presentation today about their new home network, SportsNet LA.

• The Padres’ Opening Day — otherwise known as the Dodgers’ first regular-season game in North America — is almost sold out.

Josh Beckett is throwing on essentially the same program as the Dodgers’ other starting pitchers, only with an extra day between bullpen sessions. “He seems like a normal guy in camp,” Don Mattingly said. Beckett’s 2013 season ended prematurely due to thoracic outlet syndrome.

• Random spring training fact: Catcher J.C. Boscan, a non-roster invitee, used to go by his given first name, Jean. That’s Jean as in jhan, the common French pronunciation of the word. Only Boscan isn’t French, or Haitian, or any variation in between. He’s 100 percent Venezuelan. “My parents just liked the name,” he said. Because it was mispronounced so often as jeen, he now goes by “J.C.” (I can relate.)

• The Dodgers announced the hiring of former major-league pitcher Jack McDowell as the manager of Class-A Ogden. McDowell announced this on his Facebook page on Jan. 25.

• McDowell’s previous managing experience came at the high school level.

• If Dee Gordon ever begins to doubt his own abilities, he should read this.

• The retired numbers are moving at Dodger Stadium, from center field to the left-field club level.

Dusty Baker is still looking for a managing job, and he wants you to know he’s looking for a managing job.

Go download De La Soul’s entire catalog, legally.

• Did you know that 85% of all Valentine’s cards are sent by women? Here’s “Ladies” by Lee Fields and the Expressions:

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.