MIAMI — Hanley Ramirez was benched by Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez for not hustling after a ball during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
Last year's NL batting champion, Ramirez committed a costly error in the second inning after Tony Abreu's looper dropped near him in short left field. The star shortstop accidentally kicked the ball about 100 feet toward the left-field corner and loafed after it, allowing two runners to score as Abreu advanced to third.
Ramirez, who eventually retrieved the ball, was replaced by Brian Barden the next inning. After the game, Gonzalez confirmed that Ramirez was pulled for not hustling.
Ramirez also was shaken up after fouling Edwin Jackson's pitch off his left shin in the first inning and was tended to by a trainer. Moments later, he bounced into an inning-ending double play.
"Hanley left the game because we felt — he got smoked in the ankle — but we felt whether he was hurt or not hurt or whatever it was, we felt that the effort wasn't there that we wanted," Gonzalez said. "There's 24 guys out there that are busting their butts. Cody Ross got hit with a ball 95 miles per hour, and it wasn't hit or thrown any slower, and he stayed in the game making diving plays and battling, got two hits and an RBI.
"There are some injuries there, but we expect an effort from 25 guys on this team and when that doesn't happen, we have got to do something," he added.
Ramirez was not available for comment after Florida's 5-1 loss, which snapped a four-game winning streak.
"They don't leave the game without my permission, so I told him he needed to go inside and we are going to run Barden out there, who has a sprained ankle by the way, and he battled for eight innings in there with a sprained ankle probably killing him, but that's the effort we're looking at as an organization, as a team, and that's that," Gonzalez said.
A two-time All-Star, Ramirez is hitting .293 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs. He is the Marlins' highest-paid player after signing a $70 million, six-year contract in 2008.
"You guys call him a marquee guy," Gonzalez said. "I got 25 guys all wearing the same uniform with all of the same Marlins insignia on the front and I think it's disappointing if anybody did it, not just one guy."
When asked whether there would be any additional punishment for Ramirez, Gonzalez responded: "You mean more embarrassment than being taken out of a major league game?"
Gonzalez also was asked if Ramirez would be in the lineup Tuesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks.
"We'll see," the manager said.