Hanley initiated players-only meeting

MIAMI — Hanley Ramirez usually likes to let his performance do the talking.

But on Saturday, after the Marlins lost their sixth straight game, Ramirez felt the need to speak up.

So after the Marlins gave up six runs in the ninth inning and lost 7-1 to the Blue Jays, it was Ramirez who prompted a players-only meeting.

Asked on Sunday morning who called the meeting, Ramirez replied: “I did.”

The seven-year veteran didn’t elaborate on specifics of the meeting. But several players aired out their thoughts.

“It’s our thing,” Ramirez said. “It’s for the players. We’re going to keep this between ourselves.”

It also was the first time in Ramirez’s seven seasons with the Marlins that he’s initiated a team meeting.

“I don’t like to talk too much,” he said. “I joke a little bit, but I don’t like to speak. But sometimes you’ve got something [on your mind] and you want to say it.”

A three time All-Star shortstop in the past, Ramirez is a centerpiece on the Marlins. But like the rest of the team, he’s lacked consistency this year. He is batting .258 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs.

In June, he’s batting .213 with three home runs and five RBIs.

“I’m still working,” Ramirez said. “That’s not me. I’m better than that. I’m not going to give up. I know what kind of player I am. I’ve got to find myself and start producing, every day.”

Ramirez certainly isn’t the only Miami player struggling. All phases of the team, hitting, pitching and defense have broken down.

“Every team in big leagues is going to struggle,” Ramirez said. “We’re going through it right now. Some get out of it quick. Others, it takes a little bit longer. It’s been too long for us. The talent we have here, it shouldn’t be this long.

“We are trying to do too much. We’re putting too much pressure on ourselves. When you’re young, you want to do good, instead of going out there, relaxing and playing hard. You want to produce every at-bat, every pitch. You put too much pressure on yourself, your tendons get tight. I think that’s what we’re going through right now.”

The Marlins responded on Sunday with a 9-0 win, snapping their six-game slide.

Jose Reyes felt Saturday’s meeting made a difference in how the team played.

“That was important. What better person than Hanley?” Reyes said. “He’s been around this ballclub for a long time. He knows what is going on here. It was good for him to speak up. He’s a big piece of this ballclub.

“We had some energy right from the get-go. That’s something we didn’t see the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, we can continue to play the same way the next couple of games.”

Joe Frisaro

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