Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hanley Plus Insanity Equals Hypocrisy

It's time to get cranky again, kids.

You may recall a piece by Gerry Fraley that was referenced in this blog and in others. He was basically noticing (inventing?) a difference between the reactions of Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes at the idea of dropping to third in the order. Ramirez was painted as the ambitious one, while Reyes, of course, was portrayed as the "passive-aggressive" immature one.

You remember how the piece started:
A difference now can be found between Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes, a pair of gifted 25-year-old shortstops. Both were offered the same proposition this spring: move from leadoff to third in the batting order. Their responses were telling.

Ramirez quickly warmed to the idea of batting third for Florida. "That means I'm dangerous," a grinning Ramirez said. "All the good hitters bat third, fourth, fifth. I want to be around those guys."

Reyes took a passive-aggressive approach, saying without a hint of enthusiasm that he would hit where the club wanted him to hit. Reyes' reluctance spoke volumes.
Well, now that we have some late breaking developments regarding Hanley, Fraley can now write another article with the same premise. lucky for him that I'm here to help him get started:
A difference now can be found between Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes, a pair of gifted 25-year-old shortstops. Both were offered the same proposition in their careers: better grooming. Their responses were telling.

Reyes, in response to Willie Randolph's no facial hair edict in 2005, said nothing and acted like a professional.

Ramirez took a passive-aggressive approach to Fredi Gonzalez's no long hair/jewelry rule this spring, saying without a hint of common sense that he wanted to be traded, and made it clear through a sharpie-scrawled message across his chest that he was "sick of this s**t." Ramirez's reluctance spoke volumes.
Yeah, I'm not expecting this piece to actually be finished either.

I'm going to ask you this: Imagine the reaction here in New York if Reyes had done that. I gather it would be a lot more harsh towards Jose than what they wrote in Florida towards Ramirez. Is a rule demanding ballplayers cut their hair and not wear jewelry on the field ridiculous? Yes it is. I'm not going to disagree with anyone who says that. And Hanley had every right to disagree with the rule.

Is it bizarre to institute a rule like this after you've already been managing the club for a good amount of time? Sure it is. At least Randolph started his managerial career with that ridiculous rule, and if ever there was a team that needed to be reminded that the inmates do not, in fact, run the asylum, it was the post-Art Howe New York Mets. And yes, I've taken Jose to task over some of the publicly immature things he's done. But which is more incredulous: slamming your glove down on the ground after an error, or writing obscenities across your chest with a sharpie and demanding a trade over a haircut?

This is a team leader doing this. Yeah, he's young. But that doesn't earn anybody any passes in New York.

Seriously, if I saw a guy with writing on his chest with a sharpie walking towards me, I'd cross the street.

But Hanley Ramirez does it, and he's a victim of Fredi Gonzalez's tyrannical ways.

Meanwhile, if Jose Reyes were to do it, Wallace Matthews would write about how Jose should be in jail for the rest of his life (while juxtaposing him to Captain Jeter, of course.)

(And for reference: If Manny Ramirez were to do it, the SportsCenter set and the entire ESPN facility would collapse onto itself, and John Kruk would be forced to eat Steve Phillips' leg under the rubble to survive ... that's how big a story that would be.)

But Hanley? No no, poor Hanley. We shouldn't curtail Ramirez's insanity sense of style with silly rules.

I want everyone to remember this the next time Jose Reyes gets glazed, marinated, and placed on a rotisserie with an apple in his mouth in the press over some minor lapse in judgement. It's called perspective, boys and girls. And even in this economy, it don't cost much. So be sure to pick some up.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I was hoping someone would. I was one of the guys who replied to your previous piece, saying how disgusted I was with that other writer's piece, about how unfair it was, and that I couldn't even stomach reading the rest of it. And then comes along this story with Hanley, and all I could think about was was that writer's recent article about the difference between Jose and Hanley. I wondered what that writer was thinking now. I was really hoping someone would address this. And I'm very glad you did, so thank you. It's so easy for sports writers to just go off and write whatever crap they want, but how about some objectivity? How about some accountability? If you write a piece that compares two players, putting one down, and praising the other one, well, what do you do now that the latter player proved you wrong? Do you just ignore it? Do you hope others just forget it? Do you simply make excuses for Hanley's actions so that you don't have to be wrong? Or do you show some journalistic integrity and admit maybe you were wrong, that you were being unfair to one player, while being unneccesarily kind to the other? Somehow I doubt he'd do that. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

I am a frequent reader of "we're the team to beat" Mets/phils blog and the hypocrisy regarding Jose Reyes in Philadelphia is mind blowing. Jimmy Rollins and Victorino can raise their fingers in triumph (they are the fightin phils after all)race around the bases pumping their fists, call out the Mets, it is all in the spirit of competition. Jose does it, he is a dancin hot dog. Now seeing how Hanley is portrayed makes the Reyes disrespect all the more troubling. Apparently our 25 year old SS is held to a higher level? Problem with the media is that once they tag someone, they spend the rest of their life trying to justify the label.

Anonymous said...

Good piece. Reyes is always portrayed as an assklown. Watching the WBC, Ramirez was acting like a two-year old in the dugout while his manager was being interviewed on TV. Gee---what a fun guy! Tee hee! No suprise to me that the DR was embarrassed by the Netherlands.

LadyMet said...

Now, is this the way to talk about the 2009 NL MVP (according to Ken Rosenthal)?