“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.”
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:
Derek Jeter is my idol, and will always be the example that I strive to follow. It's been an honor to share a diamond with The Captain #2
— Hanley Ramirez (@HanleyRamirez) February 12, 2014
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.)
• McDowell’s previous managing experience came at the high school level.
• 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: