Rollins clarifies remarks he made about Marlins' Ramirez

Posted: August 08, 2007

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez got his feelings hurt a little bit by comments Phillies peer Jimmy Rollins made in yesterday's Daily News:

"Hanley, in Florida, is just Hanley in Florida. I can throw him out of the books," Rollins said. "Jose in New York - he's the man. He's in New York."

The context: Rollins was asked if the presence of excellent shortstops such as the Mets' Jose Reyes and Ramirez in the National League East would cast too long a shadow over Rollins in an MVP campaign. Rollins' response clearly concentrated on the geographical situations of the two; that Ramirez was at a disadvantage playing for a generally mediocre team in front of meager crowds in an indifferent market such as Miami.

Ramirez read the quotes more literally. After enduring teasing from teammates in the visitors clubhouse before last night's game, he attempted to tape the offensive portion to his locker.

Rollins smoothed things over with Ramirez during batting practice and explained to Florida reporters afterward:

"Actually, I didn't really say anything [derogatory] about Hanley."

Recent history illustrated Rollins' point, he said:

"It's obvious. He wasn't in the All-Star Game. You look at his numbers then," Rollins said.

At the break, Ramirez was hitting .331, with 14 home runs and 27 steals, numbers arguably better than Reyes'.

"Put him in a big media market city and he'll be getting talked about the same way that guy in New York gets talked about,'' Rollins said.

"You've got to have fans show up to the game in order to get that praise. Look at the history of Florida: They just don't come out."

It's much ado about nothing, Rollins insisted:

"People can take it how they want to. If I was taking a shot at Hanley, I'd go to him. I wouldn't go to the papers. It's pretty clear how I feel about Hanley. I like the way he plays. If I didn't like the guy, it'd be a different story. Fortunately, I do." *

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