BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia couldn’t wait until spring training to rib the new guy.
Hanley Ramirez, who returned to the Red Sox on Tuesday after nine years away from the organization, revealed during his introductory press conference at Fenway Park that Pedroia called him shortly after he agreed to a four-year contract with Boston. The second baseman’s call was rather Pedroia-esque.
“I’ve got this guy calling me. I don’t know if you guys know him. His name’s Dustin Pedroia,” Ramirez joked. “He called me and he was all over me. He just said, ‘Congratulations, and get everything together. I’ve got two rings, you don’t have any and I want some more.’ Those little things pump you up, and you try to be better every day.”
The Red Sox traded Ramirez to the Florida Marlins after the 2005 season in a deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. Ramirez spent parts of seven seasons with the Fish before being shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2012 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline. Now he’s returning to the Red Sox on a contract worth at least $88 million.
Ramirez, who originally signed with Boston as an amateur free agent in 2000, is excited to reunite with the organization that gave him his first big league opportunity. He’s also eager to play alongside David Ortiz, who has taken the fellow Dominican under his wing since Ramirez ascended through the Red Sox system in the early 2000s.
“David, he’s like my big brother,” Ramirez said Tuesday. “He talks to me pretty much every day and tells me what I’ve got to do and what I’ve got to change. He’s part of my success in the big leagues. Everybody knows he’s got a great heart, what kind of player he is and what kind of person (he is). I haven’t talked to him yet (since signing), I don’t know why, but I can’t wait to be on the same field as him. It’s going to be great.”
Ramirez reached out to the Red Sox this offseason to express interest in a potential return. Boston welcomed the three-time All-Star back with open arms.
Thumbnail photo via Stephan Savoia/USA TODAY Sports Images