BOSTON -- A lot has to happen before playing the National League becomes a pressing issue, but it’s something the coaching staff has to consider down the stretch, given this offense needs Hanley Ramirez in the lineup almost as badly as David Ortiz.
“That’s way ahead of time,” Ramirez told CSN with his ear-to-ear smile. “So we just got to make it first and then decide what we’re gonna do.”
Ortiz can obviously only play first base, which leave the question mark near Ramirez, with only three options.
Pinch hitter? Not ideal, but an option.
Left field? Yeah, pass.
Third base? Now that might be crazy enough to work. But apparently this was the first time Ramirez was asked about the option.
“For what?” Ramirez said puzzled when asked if he’d taken ground balls at third base recently.
Ramirez has a lot of experience there, and was a decent fielder back when he played the left side of the diamond. Plus third base has been the offense’s black hole for most of 2016.
However, he hasn’t been seen fielding grounders at third this year, and hasn’t had to make that cross-diamond throw much either.
But if there’s one thing Ramirez has shown this year it’s that he can adapt -- as long as he’s in the infield.
When asked if that’s something he’ll try if asked, he didn’t hesitate with his answer.
“I can pitch if they want me to,” he said, half-serious. “I just want to win. This is my blood, the Red Sox are my blood. This is the organization that gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues.
“If they want me to coach, whatever, I just really want to be here and get my first ring.”