Moving past the controversy

It’s the nature of sports these days. Controversy comes, speculation follows.

Such is the case of Hanley Ramirez and his rift this week with manager Fredi Gonzalez. Since Monday, when the All-Star shortstop was benched for not hustling, a firestorm brushed through the organization and became a hot-topic in the sports world.

When Ramirez apologized to his teammates on Wednesday, it put an end to the story, at least internally. It didn’t take long, however, for the rumors to surface. Would the Marlins now consider trading their two-time All-Star?

The answer flatly is no. The Marlins never say never on any player. Their company line is “some players are more likely to be traded than others.” Ramirez is in the less likely category.

Through inquires, it was confirmed the Marlins have no interest in moving Ramirez. Some reports say teams called Florida, and were told the same thing.

The Marlins now consider the matter said and done. The front office backed Gonzalez, as did the players. Ramirez spoke individually to his teammates, expressing his regret, and now they move forward.

Gonzalez noted earlier in the week, that if handled right, this could become a positive. It may indeed make Ramirez more focused. It certainly put all the players on alert to give maximum effort.

Bottom line is the Marlins need Ramirez to perform at his highest level to contend for the playoffs. The hope is, he will indeed do so. A year ago, when Ramirez and Dan Uggla had a run in, Ramirez went on a hot streak.

The Marlins are trying to catch the Phillies, or reach the playoffs. They want their star players performing on the field, not being involved in off-field distractions.

As for trade rumors, they always seem to follow Marlins players whenever they are caught up in something controversial. We saw it in the offseason with Josh Johnson. When talks of a contract extension broke off last November, immediately speculation ran rampant that the Marlins were going to deal the ace of their staff.

Two months later, the Marlins held a news conference, announcing Johnson had agreed to a four-year contract.

Time heals.

Incidents where players clash with either each other or their managers appear to occur more than the public realizes. Normally, they are not in the public eye. Often times they are dealt with, amends are made, and all parties move on.

The Marlins have moved on. But will the trade rumors stop?

— Joe Frisaro



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