Smell the Glove

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(AP Photo)

The position players haven’t reported to spring training yet, and already The Hanley Ramirez Experiment at first base is like watching a car accident in slow motion.

Pitchers and catchers officially checked in today, and a slimmer Hanley Ramirez is already at Fort Myers, working out at first base. But there’s one small problem.

He didn’t bring a fucking glove! For someone who has been working so hard in the off-season to prepare for his new position, how is it that he forgot one of the three things you need to play the damn game?

Rob Bradford reported that Ramirez worked out for 15 minutes yesterday using one of Mike Napoli’s old first baseman’s mitts as he waits for his new glove to arrive from wherever it is that first baseman’s mitts ship. Apparently, there are no Dick’s in Florida (it’s too easy to take that potshot). When fielding questions after his intense workout, the infamous defensive dog had either the gall or ignorance—I’m banking on the latter—to bring up the prospect of winning a Gold Glove at the corner this season.

On an absurdity scale, this is analogous to me leaving my wife for Kate Upton.

Last season, Ramirez brought apathy to a kind of high-art. While he told reporters that “everything is in the past now,” firmly opposing Jay Gatsby’s worldview, this is hard to swallow. With his track record as a clubhouse cancer in Miami, and now in Boston, Ramirez is anything but credible. Fans bore witness to his lollygagging, walking like a pensive poet to and from left field between innings. And that doesn’t even speak to his incompetence.

I can only imagine what Bogaerts, Pedroia and Sandoval must be thinking, knowing that they’ll have to throw straight strikes at Ramirez’s chest to make a play. And what about those off-balance throws with trying to turn a DP, where it’s essential that the first baseman scoop the ball out of the dirt?

That’s why they made specific gloves for first basemen—the glove Hanley forgot to bring with him. If The Hanley Ramirez Experiment lasts until May, I’ll publicly drop drawers and kiss my own ass.

Indeed, there is a lot to be excited about this season, but moving your worst defensive player, the teams’ biggest liability, to first base to start the season makes no sense.

Maybe, just maybe, John Farrell, whose position as skipper coming into the season is precarious at best, will come to his own senses before that moment of collision, the squealing of brakes and shattering of glass, while the season is still salvageable.