By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Senior Staff Writer
On Tuesday, reports out of Fort Myers surfaced that Hanley Ramirez’s agent Adam Katz was in camp and meeting with Red Sox team president Dave Dombrowski. And while this is not as odd an occurrence as you may think – agents typically will visit spring training sites to meet with their clients and talk with team officials about various subjects involving the players they represent on the club – it did spark some hope in those who would like to see Hanley the Hound sent packing.
Things got a little more interesting when 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak tweeted out later in the day that Ramirez could be headed to the Chicago White Sox. Zolak clarified his claim on the midday Zolak and Bertrand show on Wednesday afternoon. The jock talker said someone involved with promoting professional sports in the Windy City not directly related to the team dropped the dime to him early on Tuesday evening.
Hanley to White Sox?
— Scott Zolak (@scottzolak) March 15, 2016
To add fuel to the fire, it was announced Wednesday by the White Sox that the guy scheduled to start at first base for them when the season starts in a few weeks – Adam LaRoche – retired, apparently because the team would no longer let his 14 year old son join him in the team’s clubhouse.
Coincidence? Good lord, I hope not.
If there is even a sliver of a chance that the White Sox would be interested in Ramirez, Dombrowski should do everything he can short of sacrificing his first born to send that puppy packing. Eat half his contract – heck, eat two thirds of his contract, the team can certainly afford it – just do whatever it will take to get a deal done.
What the Red Sox cannot afford is for the team to be look upon as the hot mess it has been four of the last five years. Hanley the Hound is going to either going to half ass it at first and piss off his fellow infielders, or he will simply shut it down because he has a cramp in his back from actually having to bend over to field a ground ball.
The issues involving both of their corner infielders has the potential to torpedo his team before the season even starts, and Dombrowski knows it. Whether it is Pablo Sandoval and his 17% body fat prodigious gut prohibiting him from being able to field a ball at his feet and then slamming a bat on a table in the clubhouse because a reporter actually had the audacity to point out he is too fat to field his position, or Ramirez’s unprofessional behavior affecting his teammates; something has to give.
What Dombrowski was hired to do was to clean up the mess that Larry Lucchino and his hand-picked hand puppet Ben Cherington created when they signed the two misfits prior to the 2015 season, among other things. Given the fact that the puffy Panda resembles the Michelin Man in his home white uniform, and his best contact has come with a fork in his hand and not a bat, there is very little reason to believe that he will be going anywhere but to Ben and Jerry’s anytime soon.
If there is any possibility – say a prayer to the baseball gods with me – that he can get the pale hose to believe that Ramirez could share time with Jose Abreu at first base and DH, he needs to do so regardless or the return or cost, in regards to what the Red Sox would have to absorb in salary for the remainder of his contract.
Being the businessman he is, John Henry certainly knows that sometimes it is best to buy your way out of bad deals. If Dombrowski is able to broker a deal that sends Ramirez to Chicago and it costs him only money, he needs to swallow hard and write a check.
It is an old axiom that hope springs eternal. Red Sox fans should be hoping that Scott Zolak’s connection is correct, and that Hanley the Hound will find his next dog house with the league’s other Sox.