In a recent interview with MLB.com's Adam Berry, new Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said he had talked with shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and the new skipper felt open to possibly moving Ramirez around the diamond:
I just got there, and I just want him on the field no matter where... If he has to be a shortstop, it's shortstop. If he has to be somewhere else, I just want this kid to be on the field every day. That's what I'm looking for... It's up to the Marlins, what they have in mind, what they want to do.
Hanley Ramirez, though one of the best hitting shortstops in the game, is widely considered suspect defensively at the shortstop position. Fangraphs.com's leader boards suggest Hanley Ramirez has been the third worst defensive shortstop since 2008 -- better than only the unredeemable Yuniesky Betancourt and surprisingly fast-depreciated Jason Bartlett.
Moving Hanley makes a lot of sense, assuming the Marlins find a suitable replacement, but as Aaron Gleeman points out, Hanley would go from an amazing shortstop slugger to a decent-but-not-great corner infielder.
Justine Siegal Throws BP, Dons Sacred Cloaks
The Washington Post recently published a dandy of an article from Justine Siegal, the female athlete who threw batting practice for the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason. Through the experience, she -- like most any sentient being who comes in contact with Joe Maddon -- became an avid fan of the Rays manager:
The authenticity that Joe puts forth, and that his players model, is what drives the Rays and what made them one of the best and most exciting teams in baseball. The ‘cult’ of Joe Maddon now has one more proud member.
I would also argue that disciplined and careful analytics, scouting, and culture-generation have sort of all worked to make the Rays "one of the best and most exciting teams in baseball." But, eh, 1 out of 3 is still .300.
I've made no illusions about my excitement about women in baseball, so I think the Rays or the MLB should explore hiring Siegal post-haste as a scout/speaker to help encourage broader gender participation in the sport.
But then again, maybe I'm just saying that because we're in the same cult.