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Humble Hanley Discusses Slump, Booing

          Hanley Ramirez has tried just about everything to change his hitting luck, besides putting in extra time working on his swing. He hiked his pants up to expose his socks. When that didn’t work, he lowered them back down, hoping that would do the trick.

          It hasn’t. Next?

          “Maybe no pants,” Ramirez said, producing laughter after going 0 for 4 on Sunday and hearing boos for the second straight day.

          Ramirez, the league batting champ in 2009, is now mired in a 2 for 27 slump that has lowered his average to .182.

          “I know I’m going to get out of it,” he said. “At the end of the year, the numbers are going to be there. So I’ve just got to go through it right now and try to get out of it soon, get back on track.”

          Ramirez said he heard the boos Saturday and Sunday, and understands why fans are unhappy.

          “It’s good because they expect a lot of things from me,” Ramirez said of vocal fans. “I’m not doing it right now. But we’ve got five months to go.”

          Ramirez and manager Edwin Rodriguez both agree that he’s been guilty of chasing bad pitches.

          “The good thing is he’s concerned,” Rodriguez said. “He wants to do good. It’s not like he doesn’t care. In my opinion, I think he’s been way too aggressive at the plate. He wants to do good so bad that I think he’s swinging at balls out of the strike zone.”

          Rodriguez said it’s possible he might give Ramirez a day off to get his head together. Teammates are 100 percent supportive of Ramirez and say his attitude, despite the slump, has been exemplary.

          “Whatever he’s been in the past is far from what I’ve experienced here,” said catcher John Buck, a newcomer to the team. “He’s struggling probably the worst on the team, and when I’m punching out, he’s the first one patting me on the butt. It’s directly reflected in the way we’re playing the way he’s dealing with it. When he gets going, it’s going to be something fun.”

          Ramirez said it’s only a matter of time.

          “I’m rushing too much at home plate, trying to hit every pitch,” he said.

          Even though he’s struggling, Ramirez is happy the team is winning.
          “It’s only me,” he said. “Everybody else is fine right now.”