by Steve Farace
When you think about baseball players and their stats, you pretty much know what you are going to get from year to year. Whether they are a star or a utility player on the bench, they are going to give you what they normally do. This usually holds true unless there is something unforeseen like an injury to a star or added playing time for a bench player due to the injury of a star. When a player just falls off when they are supposedly in their prime, there is always cause for concern.
Well folks, there is cause for concern for the star of the Florida Marlins. Hanley Ramirez just isn’t himself. Two years ago he hit .342 with 24 home runs and 106 RBI. That is an absolute monster of a year and especially so for a shortstop. Since he came up to the Major Leagues with the Marlins in 2006, Hanley has hit for a .313 average, has averaged 25 home runs a year, and since his sophomore year he has averaged 82 RBI. In 2011, he is on pace for 11 home runs and 50 RBI. He is 28 years old, in his prime, and he is barely hitting .200 on the season. I think this has now blown up into a full scale emergency for the Florida Marlins.
I know that this is a very touchy subject, but this situation is beginning to reek of steroids. I know that he hasn’t tested positive for steroids. I know that his name hasn’t even been linked to steroids. It is just something that I am throwing out there. His numbers have dropped in such dramatic fashion that there has to be some type of crazy explanation. If you add to everything that he had been hurt this year, it makes it seem even more suspicious. He has only missed 5 or 6 games, but supposedly he is playing hurt; we all know that when a player gets off steroids they are more prone to injuries. Before the 2009 season, the Florida Marlins official site reported that Hanley gained 25lbs of muscle during the off-season. That is a mighty bold move during the recovery of the steroid era.
Once again I want to make it clear that I am not saying that he was on steroids for sure, or that I have any facts stating such. All I am saying here is that for a superstar player such as Hanley Ramirez there has been a huge drop off in stats at the age of 27. I find it all to be very confusing and this seems to be something that would explain it. The only other explanation would be that he just lost his baseball skills from one year to the next, which I am sure we can all agree is just not possible.