One of the takeaways of Hanley Ramirez’ gathering with the press Thursday was just how affable the veteran slugger was.
As John Zannis put it, Ramirez seemed to take on the old Big Papi persona that’s been missing since David Ortiz called it a career at the end of the 2016 season. Entering his third season back in Boston, Ramirez seemingly sees an opportunity to become a leader.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was asked about Ramirez emerging as a leader in a 1-on-1 conversation with Trenni Kusnierek afterwards.
“I think so,” Dombrowski replied, “and for people that didn’t know Hanley, say in the past, they would look at him and they would say, ‘Well, look, there’s one of the leaders of the Red Sox organization.’
“And there’s been a transformation from him over the last couple of years. I can’t really speak why because, again, having been around him just a limited time period, but this past year, in 2016, he was outstanding with his work ethic, with his abilities, with his attitude day-in and day-out and he steps up here now as one of our leaders.
“And he’s earned that not only ability-wise, but being in a position the way he’s handled himself, the way he’s worked hard and the way that he’’s worked hard over the wintertime. He is one of the leaders of our ball club and a very instrumental part of our club.”
Pablo Sandoval has put in work.
The Boston Red Sox third baseman has lost significant weight since his shoulder surgery. According to a post from his trainer, Sandoval has lost 35 pounds. He started at 275 pounds in June 2016 before the surgery. Sandoval told MassLive.com he took the after photo (in the Instagram post below) in December 2016.
According to the post, Sandoval's wife took over Sandoval's nutrition, and helped him restructure his diet. And then he spent five days a week at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami, according to a lengthy feature on ESPN.com.
"He's like a new Panda," Sandoval's personal assistant Josmir Romero told ESPN.com.
There's no doubt: Sandoval looks a lot more fit. If he keeps this weight, his belts won't be in danger of bursting this season.
Bommarito Performance Systems featured on ESPN! Incredible article on BPS client and 3x World Series Champ Pablo Sandoval (@kfp48) and his journey to being the best shape of his life! Here is an excerpt from the article: ”Having watched Ferrer help Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez overcome a 2015 shoulder injury and revive his career last season, Sandoval decided to enlist the strength and conditioning specialist to oversee his workouts. The days began at 7:30 a.m., Ferrer said, with an hour long "turf workout" to improve Sandoval's agility. After a series of core-strengthening exercises, they moved to the weight room, alternating upper- and lower-body lifts every other day. The Red Sox received frequent progress reports -- "Panda watch," if you will -- because Ferrer is close with Boston strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose. Meanwhile, Sandoval put his new wife, Yulimar, in charge of his diet. She worked with a nutritionist to come up with healthier meals for Sandoval and cooked for him throughout the off-season. "Part of [Sandoval's] issues in the past didn't work ethic. It was other aspects of his life when we start talking about nutrition and those types of things," Dombrowski said. "This winter, I would say he was more committed to the total program." Said Ferrer: "I'm actually really pleased with his progress this off-season. I said that to Kiyoshi multiple times. The Red Sox wanted him to get down to, I think, in the 240s, and he's right there. But with him, I think it's just about his strength levels. He's a strong guy. He's powerful. He took our workouts very seriously all off-season. He's definitely ready to play baseball right now.’” Click the link in our bio to read the full article! #KungFuPanda 🐼 #PabloSandoval #Boston Redsox #RedSox #Soxnation #Bommaritos #HanleyRamirez #ElNino #MLB #Baseball #Baseballtraining #miggy #miguelcabrera #Venezuela
Big Papi's "spring training" involves a beach chair -- not a baseball bat.
The former Boston Red Sox slugger made it clear on Instagram that he has no interest in returning to Jet Blue Park to begin training for the 2017 MLB season.
He announced in Nov. 2015 he would be retiring after the 2016 season, and he appears completely content with that decision despite speculation of his return to MLB. Ortiz posted a video on Sunday of himself in a beach chair reclined and relaxed.
"What's up [Instagram]. Oh, so good be retired. At the beach with the familia, the ladies. Big Papi in the bulding. This is my spring training. How 'bout dat? Enjoy. See you when I see you. Peace," he said, and then chuckled.
Ortiz's video came a few days after Hanley Ramirez said that if Ortiz made a return to baseball, he would be doing it, in part, for Ramirez, because they miss each other.
WBZ's Dan Roche then tweeted out Ramirez's comment on Thursday, and Big Papi waited no time to respond. Within 16 minutes, Ortiz had responded to reiterate he would not be returning to the Sox.