Hanley Ramirez returns to Miami with Dodgers

Three hours before game time, Hanley Ramirez entered the Miami

Marlins’ ballpark, began looking for the visitors’ clubhouse and

nearly walked into a stadium kitchen by mistake.

He had cleanup duty, but not there. Ramirez eventually found his

way to his new team and was in the lineup against his old club

Friday night, batting fourth for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He returned to Miami barely two weeks after being traded, and

conceded he wasn’t thrilled to be playing a three-game series

against the Marlins so soon.

”A little weird,” Ramirez said. ”We couldn’t play three games

in one day and get it over with.”

Ramirez was the NL Rookie of the Year with the Marlins in 2006

and had been the foundation of their lineup ever since. But they

tore up that blueprint July 25, trading Ramirez and left-handed

reliever Randy Choate for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and a minor

league pitcher.

Ramirez departed without ever leading the Marlins to a playoff


”I couldn’t get it going my way,” he said. ”Seven years, and

we never could make it to the playoffs. But that’s in the


He drew more jeers than cheers each time he batted, and went 3

for 5 with two RBIs to help the Dodgers win 5-2.

Ramirez still has a home in South Florida and said he spent much

of Friday with his wife, three children and parents. He looked

forward to visiting with his former teammates.

”It’s good to see him back,” Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes

said, ”but I hope he doesn’t do too much damage against our


Ramirez said he had no regrets about his stay with the Marlins.

His attitude and effort came into question at times, and while he’s

a .299 career hitter, his productivity has fallen off dramatically

since the beginning of 2011.

In his first 14 games with the Dodgers, he batted .226 with one

home run.

Ramirez said he was happy to be with a team contending for the

NL West title. The Marlins are out of the playoff race, as was the

case by August almost every year during his time with the team.

”We didn’t do the big one – a championship or the playoffs,”

he said. ”But there were a lot of good moments here. I played in

front of this crowd for many years. They saw me from when I was a

little baby to now, being a grown man and almost 30.

”The Marlins are always going to be part of my family. I have

to thank them for a lot of things. They were good to me.”