Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ramirez should act more like his idol Jeter

If Hanley Ramirez really wants to be like his idol Derek Jeter, he has to hustle all the time.

We've never heard Jeter blame a bad play on an injury. In fact, Jeter could be injured right now, which would certainly explain his extended slump. But we'll never know because he refuses to even discuss injuries, let alone use them as an excuse. Neither should Ramirez.

It's hard to even imagine Jeter, as politically correct as he is, publicly criticizing anyone, let alone his manager, the way Ramirez did. The 26-year-old shortstop insulted Fredi Gonzalez in the most obnoxious way, especially when he talked about his manager never playing in the big leagues. Even more obnoxious was his initial refusal to apologize. But he now has seen the error of his ways, with the help and insight of a couple of Hall of Famers.

From a numbers perspective, there’s no doubt Ramirez is one of the game’s best shortstops, with a .316 career batting average, 103 homers, 313 ribbies and 164 stolen bases. But true greatness is not measured in mere numbers. It's about being a leader and setting the right example for your team by running down every ball and running out every grounder. It's about constantly giving your best, even when you're not feeling your best. Nobody in baseball does that better than Jeter.

Emulating his idol means playing the game the right way. No excuses.

Thanks to ScottRAnselmo via Wikipedia for the photo.

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