Hello, Hanley

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Hello, Hanley

As a Red Sox fan, you learn very early never grow attached to prospects. They're just as likely to end up as the centerpiece in a blockbuster as they are a future staple in the Sox line-up.

Sure, there are a few exceptions. Most recently Will Middlebrooks, then obviously guys like Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedrioa and Jon Lester. But for every one of them there's a Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Craig Hansen, Justin Masterson, Anibal Sanchez, David Pauley, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and many more who get shipped out before ever making a serious impact.

The biggest example of the last 10 years?

None other than Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley was 16 when he signed with the Sox in the summer of 2000, and it wasn't long before he was touted as a future star the Sox most exciting home grown prospect since Nomar. But after only two big league at-bats, he was traded to Florida in exchange for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell.

Of course, you know this already. You know that Ramirez went on to win the Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Marlins, and became one of the National League's most dynamic players. You know that in his first five years in Florida, Ramirez hit at least .300 with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases every single season. You know that he led the league in runs one year and won a batting title in another. You know he made three All-Star games and won two silver slugger awards.

You also know that he never would have made to Florida if Theo Epstein hadn't taken his sabbatical.

It's one of the worst kept secret in the Sox organization (and that's saying something): Theo never wanted to let Hanley get away. And for that reason not the mention the fact that he turned into such a superstar Ramirez is a guy I've always followed a lot closer than the hundreds of other former Sox prospect floating around the majors.

Even though he's never been known as a terrific guy, I've always been a Hanley Ramirez fan. And on the random occasion when the Sox and Marlins get together, it's always fun to grab a look at what could have been. Lately for Ramirez, that hasn't been much.

A shoulder injury derailed his 2011 (he hit only .243 with 10 homers in 92 games) and this season hasn't been much better. Well, the power number are back (he has 11 homers) but is only hitting .259.

We'll see if he can turn back the clock against the Sox tonight in Miami.

(For his career, Ramirez has played six games against the Sox and has been pretty quiet, hitting only .292 with one home run and one RBI.)

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.