Alert the Media: A Dominican Player Forgot to Hustle

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In what can be perceived as a cleverly-timed footnote to my piece on minorities being accused of not hustling, Marlins shortstop (and Dominican native) Hanley Ramirez accidentally booted a ball into left field and merely jogged after it as two opposing players scored.

Watch the video here.

Hanley was later benched by Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez, either for not showing proper hustle on the play or for having an ouchie on his ankle. He'd fouled a ball off his ankle the prior inning and seemed to show a bit of a limp on his way back to the dugout.

Now, to defend Hanley with the excuse that, "Hey, he was hurt, he couldn't chase that baseball down" would be facile and inconsistent. Racial differences be damned, baseball players need to run after loose balls. And when a manager of Gonzalez' stature decides to bench a player, it's his decision and his decision alone. Just listen to him discuss the benching, where he basically throws Hanley under the bus with one hand while defending teammate Cody Ross:

"There's 24 guys out there that are busting their butts. (Cody) Ross got hit with a ball 95 mph and he stayed in the game making diving plays and battling, got two hits and an RBI. There are some injuries there, but we expect an effort from 25 guys on this team and when that doesn't happen, we have got to do something."

If anything, Gonzalez is singling Hanley out because he's a superstar making a ton of scratch. Fredi knows that if the team's best and most well-paid player is lollygagging, it'll breed discontent in the clubhouse among the po' folks like Ross.

But perhaps we're missing the real nefarious cause of Ramirez' troubles: cricket! Prior to the game, the Marlins welcomed the New Zealand cricket team on the field for batting practice and Hanley made like Rinku and Dinesh and picked up the ol' cricket bat to take some swings.

Cricket: the enemy of hustling!

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