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Nick Cafardo | On Baseball

Sending Hanley Ramirez home is best for Red Sox

Hanley Ramirez appeared in 105 games for the Red Sox this season.Getty Images/File

NEW YORK — There is absolutely no big deal about Hanley Ramirez not being around the Red Sox.


He’s back in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attending to his right shoulder strain with his personal trainer. Terrific. Everyone should be happy.

If there was ever a player who didn’t fit the chemistry, the approach, or the future of the Boston Red Sox, it’s Hanley Ramirez. There is no positive that could come from Ramirez being around his teammates in the final few days of the regular season. In fact, it’s a good thing that he is away.

Why would you want the highest-paid player on the team — who has exhibited no leadership, who has been out of the lineup for extended periods with injuries, who has exhibited “I don’t care” body language on the field and off it, who by my count spent two days working on his left-field play during the regular season and really never got better — around the team?

Ramirez very well could come back to the Red Sox next spring and be a hard-working guy learning a new position, first base. In the spring, Ramirez worked hard in left field, but he no longer worked once the season started. Red Sox personnel didn’t push the workload for fear he might get hurt.


Well, he got hurt anyway. If you can’t work on getting better, what’s the point?

The Red Sox have a good thing going for the future. They have young players who are conscientious and love playing the game. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, Christian Vazquez, and Travis Shaw are really upbeat people who care about being top major league players. Surrounding them with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia is a good thing. Even Pablo Sandoval is upbeat and wants to win.


Ramirez has carried this reputation wherever he’s been. The Marlins loved his talent, but when it came down to deciding whether to center their team around him, the answer was no way.

The Dodgers were awed by the offensive ability, signed him, then couldn’t wait to see him go.

You can see what an uncomfortable position interim manager Torey Lovullo is in. You can see Dave Dombrowski treading softly around the elephant in the room.

It’s possible that Dombrowski will offer to eat some money and try to find a taker for Ramirez, and some other team will love the offense and take the chance once again. If not, the Red Sox are stuck with him and must hope he doesn’t disrupt the enthusiasm in the room.

There’s $68.25 million left on his deal through 2018. That’s a lot of money the Red Sox need to have go away. But really, it’s money well eaten.

Hearing how the team wanted Ramirez to get back with his personal trainer so he can begin getting ready for next year is laughable.

This is what they have to say. They need to market him as a first baseman to teams that already have a DH, and make it look as if he’s genuinely trying to make an effort to get himself healthy.

And he’s only 31. Even though he plays like 41.

Ramirez could come back next season and hit 30 homers and knock in 100 runs. Even if he does, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want him on your team.


There’s a reason that no team other than the Red Sox went after him with big dollars. When that type of money was offered, Ramirez would have volunteered to put on catching gear.

Nothing that has happened this season has changed the perception of him. In fact, everything has been right on cue.

I don’t think there’s a player on the Red Sox who misses him, other than Ortiz, who seems to be friends with him, but obviously has had very little influence on him.

So off to Fort Lauderdale, Hanley. The best thing.

Nick Cafardo can be reached at cafardo@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.