Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez says he's not ready to return to his base-stealing days

Rob Bradford
April 22, 2015 - 4:59 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez is making people remember he actually once stole bases ... a lot of them. One game after swiping his first base of the season, Ramirez set himself in motion again with two outs in the third inning Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. While there was no stolen base, the action on the basepaths allowed the left fielder to score all the way from first base when Mike Napoli's grounder went into center field. So, does the recent baserunning activity suggest Ramirez is ready to return to the days in which he stole 51 bases in back to back seasons (2006-07)? "No," Ramirez said before Wednesday night's game. Why? "They don't want me to," explained Ramirez, who totaled 14 steals with the Dodgers in 2014. "We're just trying to stay on the field to play 150-plus games." Ramirez certainly has a different body type than he possessed when swiping bags left and right for the Marlins. But the instincts and inclination are still there, as has been evidenced the last two nights. Heading into Wednesday, Ramirez had the ninth-most steals of any player since 2006 (262). "Yeah, because I don't like to be just standing at first," said Ramirez when asked if he missed living life as a base-stealer. "I like to get in scoring position for those guys behind me. But at the same time you have to be smart. I just want to be on the field and save my legs." Before the game, Red Sox manager John Farrell discussed the possibility of utilizing those legs. "We've only seen 14 games, so it remains to be seen," said the manager when asked about the possibility of Ramirez stealing some more bases. "But you're talking about an exceptional athlete. He got down the line really well last night once again on a swinging bunt. He advanced on a ball in the dirt. He's an extremely talented guy, and we want to promote that. We want to not necessarily give him the green light, but we want to take advantage when matchups are favorable."