Thursday, December 5, 2013
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.
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
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