Hanley Ramirez couldn't stop smiling.
"I can't," he said. "I can't."
Ramirez smiled as he said that.
Reliever Randy Choate, who was traded with Ramirez from the Miami Marlins to the Dodgers on Tuesday night, has noticed a change in the three-time All-Star.
"He just seems to be smiling a lot more the last couple of days," Choate said.
Choate thought that might be because Ramirez was freed of the expectations that were placed on him in Miami.
"It seemed there were a lot of expectations fell solely on him and a lot of blame fell solely on him," Choate said. "It just seemed the more that we started failing, the more he started getting blamed."
Ramirez didn't discount the theory. He was only 25 when he hit .342 and won the National League batting title.
"If you hit .350, they expect you to hit .360, .370 the next year," he said.
Ramirez doesn't think that will be a problem with the Dodgers because players such as Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier will be around to share the burden.
Similar to how Manny Ramirez refused to say much about the Boston Red Sox after being traded to the Dodgers in 2008, Hanley Ramirez wouldn't say much about the Miami Marlins. Asked about the unsavory reputation he developed or how former teammates bad-mouthed him in news reports upon his departure, Hanley Ramirez replied, "That's in the past."
Hanley Ramirez reinvigorated by trade to Dodgers
Los Angeles Times | Jul 28