In his first game back Monday as interim manager of the Florida Marlins, 80-year-old Jack McKeon benched star player Hanley Ramirez. The Marlins went on to drop their 11th straight game, losing 2-1 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Palm Beach Post reports the benching was because Ramirez showed up late to a 3:30 pm team meeting that McKeon called, but neither McKeon or Ramirez would give specifics about why the star shortstop wasn’t playing.
Asked if there was a reason Ramirez wasn’t in the lineup, McKeon shot back, “Yeah, because I didn’t put him in there.” McKeon also added that he didn’t like the way Ramirez ran the bases in a loss the day before to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Ramirez is struggling mightily this season, hitting just .201 with only 17 RBI in 54 games, and had said he’s looking forward to playing for McKeon, who led the Marlins to their second world title in 2003 as a 72-year-old interim manager.
“I think he expects everyone here to play even harder,” said the three-time All-Star. “He knows we have lot of talent here. We just have to show it out on the field, and we haven’t done that for the past 20 days. So, he’s gonna get on everybody here – if you don’t play hard, you’re not gonna be here. … You got a guy like him who has won a World Series, he can teach you a little bit more.’’