A hard reality check for Hanley Ramirez

Updated: December 7, 2011, 9:24 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Ozzie Guillen understands Hanley Ramirez's unhappiness about being asked to switch positions, writes Juan Rodriguez. He has a right to be upset, says Guillen.

The Miami Marlins are all being very polite to Ramirez now, mostly because of how good a player he has been in the past, but maybe also because they understand that Miami owner Jeffrey Loria loves Hanley and regards him as a favorite son.

But at some point, the Marlins should probably stop being polite and offer this little reality check to Ramirez: It was his diminished performance that prompted Miami to invest $106 million in Jose Reyes. His defense at shortstop got worse, his offense got worse. None of this would have happened if Ramirez had continued to be one of the top players in the majors at his position.

He showed up to spring training significantly heavier -- maybe 20-25 pounds heavier, some in the organization believe -- and with the Marlins' third-base situation unresolved in March, there were some who thought the absolute best and right thing to do was to move Ramirez from shortstop then. But the Marlins kept Ramirez at shortstop out of deference to his history as a player and to the owner's feelings for Ramirez.