Hanley ready for fresh start

JUPITER, Fla. — A healthy and happy Hanley Ramirez took some swings in the batting cage on Monday morning, the day before the Marlins begin full-squad workouts at Roger Dean Stadium.

H2RST11a.jpgThe three-time All-Star shortstop is ready to put a rough 2010 behind him, and regain the form that resulted in him being the NL batting champion in 2009.

Entering his sixth season with the Marlins, Ramirez noted the goal is to reach the playoffs.

“I want to know what it feels like,” Ramirez said of reaching the postseason. “I’m tired of watching it on TV. I want to be in there. It’s different. A lot of motivation.”

Reminded that his former teammate, Cody Ross, was part of the Giants’ World Series team, Ramirez said: “Good for him. He deserves it.”

Ramirez said he was pleased to see a lot of happy faces in the Marlins clubhouse.

After missing the final few weeks of 2010 with a left elbow strain, Ramirez enters camp healthy and eager to improve on a self proclaimed down year.

“I did more lower body [work] this year,” Ramirez said. “I want to have my legs at the end of the season. I did light weights to make me stronger.”

Ramirez said he would like to steal more bases, building on the 32 he swiped a year ago.

“I don’t have a number, but I want to get more than I got last year,” he said. “I’ve got to get in scoring position for those guys hitting behind me. That’s one thing I can do, steal a base and get in scoring position.”

In the offseason, Ramirez became a father again, as his wife gave birth to a girl – Hailey.

Ramirez also was asked about his relationship with former manager Fredi Gonzalez, who is now with Atlanta.

“That’s in the past. Fredi and me, we get along,” Ramirez said. “He’s a good person. He just tried to help me. Now, we got a new manager. I’ve got a good relationship with Edwin [Rodriguez]. I want to show I respect everybody.”

– Joe Frisaro

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