"You're kidding me," Ramirez said. "It took you long enough to tell me that. I didn't know that for real. So, OK, after this conversation, let's see what is going to happen now. I'll say it. Yeah. Bring it. OK? I didn't know, I swear. Interesting. Thank you."
Ramirez then proceeded to ask how many strikeouts it was? Eight, in 45 plate appearances.
"Eight, in 45 plate appearances? You think that's bad? Come back to me with that in August," he said.
So here we are closing out August and where is the production?
ESPN reported that last season Ramirez hit 30 home runs and drove in 111 runs. This year he has 19 home runs and only 49 RBIs and only 13 hits have been to left field or up the middle. Last year he had such an easy and fluid swing, this year he has nothing smooth about it. He swings with complete and utter violence leaving no doubt his intent as the helmet flies off his head.
The Red Sox are aware of this too.
"I don't know if that's his barometer of effort, a helmet flying, but I agree with you. We see it as well," John Farrell said. "For players, when they're relaxed, when they're fluid, it seems to happen easier for them. When a player ramps up the effort level, they're not as consistent. I think there's a ramp-up of effort that might have caused him to miss some pitches on the plate."
"What the root of it is, I'm not sure if he's trying to generate more bat speed because he's been dealing with the shoulders, to start the swing earlier," Farrell said. "You see maybe a higher number of checked swings that are called strikes, where he can't hold up. That's a hitter committing early and going to get a pitch, and pitch recognition might be a little late. I don't know that it's about replacing someone [Ortiz]."
How can the Red Sox expect to survive any postseason run with such a gaping hole in their offense at the DH position?
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell