Friday March 26, 2010 | 07:19 AM

When the Eastern League All-Star Game was held in Portland in 2005, the players and their famillies were invited to a lobster bake on Peak's Island. As the players chowed and talked around picnic tables, a Whiffle Ball game broke out among a group of younger kids, presumably little brothers and sisters.

In the middle of the game was one Hanley Ramirez, the biggest kid of them all.

Hanley is the subject of today's On Baseball column in the Press Herald. In the story, Ramirez's playful personality is mentioned, as is the temper that sometimes got him into trouble. He continues to mature off the field. On the field, he is simply one of the best ballplayers of today.

If the Red Sox knew just how good Hanley Ramirez would become, would they still make the trade? Of course. As has been pointed out often, if the trade does not happen, then Boston does not receive Josh Beckett, and the Red Sox don't win the 2007 World Series.

Also involved in that trade was former Sea Dogs pitcher Anibal Sanchez, now 26. Sanchez looked like a steal when he won 10 games, including a no-hitter in 2006. But shoulder trouble has plagued him since. Sanchez appears healthy now and is expected to be part of the Marlins rotation when the season begins.

Today, Jon Lester is expected to start for the Red Sox. I plan to be there, while hoping to stop by the minor league fields to visit Arnie Beyeler and company. I'll check in later and, hopefully, with better photos than the one below, taken during batting practice. J.D. is taking his cuts while Adrian Beltre (left) and Jacoby Ellsbury (No. 2) wait their turns.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court

Subscribe to the
Holding Court RSS

Subscribe to the
Clearing the Bases RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.