Boston Red Sox: Pedro Martinez spot on in calling out Hanley Ramirez

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: Hanley Ramirez /

Former Boston Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez offered up some harsh words in calling out Hanley Ramirez for his lack of leadership. 

Someone had to say it.  Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and legend Pedro Martinez didn’t hold back in his criticism of slugger Hanley Ramirez ahead of Thursday’s Game 1 matchup against the Houston Astros in the American League Divisional Series.

Ramirez was not in the lineup in the team’s 8-2 loss, which continued a trend of his lack of availability all season long.  He did end up coming into the game as a DH due to Eduardo Nunez’s injury, but his lack of production and leadership really got under the skin of Martinez.

In an interview with OMF Thursday before the game, the Hall-of-Fame pitcher unloaded on Ramirez.

"“You never replace David [Ortiz],” Martinez said, as transcribed by WEEI.  “He knew when to pull the team together and say, ‘We’re not playing the best ball.’  I think they’re lacking that leader who could pull them aside and say, ‘We’re not playing the kind of baseball we’re used to playing.’  Hanley hasn’t been that guy, Hanley is not reflecting the same energy he was showing last year.  The team is different this year.  Very little to relay on when it comes to being that guy.”"

Fair assessment?

Absolutely.  Hanley Ramirez may have never been the leader type (vocally), but he is the one player on this team who can lead by example.  Granted, he battled a shoulder injury most of the season, he appeared well enough to hit and should’ve been able to fill the designated hitter role on a consistent basis.

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 30: Hanley Ramirez
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 30: Hanley Ramirez /

At times appearing disinterested, Ramirez has proved he can produced when he’s locked in and interested in the game.  That’s the type of leadership Martinez is referring to.  On a team filled with young players, they need to see a veteran produce and come through on a consistent basis.

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Again, Ramirez was never expected to be the type of leader Ortiz was, but he can show young players like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers what it means to compete, especially in the playoffs.

A glimpse of things to come?

Ramirez did go 2-for-3 in Thursday’s Game 1 loss and needs to continue that type of production for this team to have a chance in this series.

With Drew Pomeranz going in Game 2, it is important for the bats to get going and provide some run support.  Ramirez, if locked in, can be the catalyst in the middle of the lineup that gets things rolling.

We all know he has the talent.  It’s just a matter of him talking this team on his (non-injured) shoulder and showing the Houston Astros that they are in for a battle.

Next: Boston Red Sox ALDS Game 2 preview and predictions

Hopefully, being called out by the great Pedro Martinez will light a match under Ramirez that will launch the dominant offensive player we all know he can be.