Hanley has Edwin’s back

PHILADELPHIA — In times of trouble, people point fingers, looking to place blame.

The Marlins are in a tailspin, having lost six straight.

As rough as things have been, shortstop Hanley Ramirez says no one should be getting on manager Edwin Rodriguez.

“I’m on his side,” Ramirez said. “I’ve got his back, till the death, man.”

The Marlins entered Thursday 1-14 in the month of June. A week ago, the Marlins made a coaching change when they replaced hitting coach John Mallee with Eduardo Perez. Right now, the club has dropped into a last-place tie with Washington in the NL East.

“Everything he is doing is good for the team,” Ramirez said. “I’m never complaining about anything he does. He’s a pretty good guy and a pretty good manager. He’s smart.”

Ramirez says when times are good, the players get the credit. And when they’re bad, the manager and staff take the blame.

“When we do good, people look at us,” Ramirez said. “It’s us, they say. When the team wins, everybody wants to give credit to the players. When we don’t, everybody wants [to blame] the manager. That’s not the way it is.”

Ramirez notes that he has no problem with being asked to lead off after he hit third for most of the past three seasons.

“I’m on his side,” the shortstop said. “Whatever he wants to do, I’m all for. He’s the best guy we ever had here. He lets you play. We’re going through things where everything is going bad right now. But he’s there for you.”

Rodriguez says he isn’t worried about his job security. At age 50, he says he is in a “win-win” situation. Because if he is dismissed, he can spend time with his family in Puerto Rico. But he clearly wants to remain the manager.

“To be honest, it’s a win-win situation. Of course I want to be here. It’s a challenge for me,” Rodriguez said. “Of course I want to be here, but either way.

“I saw the firing of Mallee coming. I was more worried about Mallee. The way I see it, Mallee’s career is just starting right now, as a big leaguer. For me, before they called me last year, I felt fine with my career.”

A message Rodriguez is giving his team is to play hard, regardless of the score or situation.

Before the Marlins faced the Phillies on Thursday afternoon, Rodriguez held a team meeting.

“I’m going to pull anybody that is dragging,” the manager said. “I’m don’t want anybody dragging out there.

“Everybody expects us to go through the motions, it’s not going to happen.”

Joe Frisaro

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