The slumping shortstop walked into the clubhouse with a couple of bats on his shoulder.
"These are my babies," said Hanley Ramirez, before planting a kiss on one of the bat barrels.
Yes, it's come to this. The three-time All-Star, desperate to produce, dug around in the dark recesses of his closet at home and found what he hopes to be the solution to his woes: the very bats he used during the 2009 season when he won the NL batting title.
"I take any leftover bats home after every season," Ramirez said. "And I had some left from '09."
It's quite obvious that the bats aren't fresh out of the box. They're dinged, dented and discolored. But, at this point, Ramirez is willing to try anything to snap out of his season-long funk at the plate. He put the bats to their first test on Sunday, and though he went just 1 for 5 -- the only hit coming when he dumped a single into center -- he smoked a couple of pitches, one for a long fly ball to left that twisted just foul and a line drive to short that that was turned into a double play.
Asked if he had thought about burning his old bats to exorcise the demons, Ramirez, who is hitting just .195, responded: "Coming soon."
-- One Marlin who is hitting is first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who was named NL Player of the Week after going 13 for 28 (.464) with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI in seven games last week. On Sunday, Sanchez went 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles, a three-run home run, and a walk.
"He's been out most consistent hitter pretty much the entire month of April and May," said manager Edwin Rodriguez. "People are going to start talking about him a little bit more."
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Emilio Bonifacio, lf; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 5. Mike Stanton, rf; 6. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Omar Infante, 2b; 9. Javier Vazquez, p.
Phillies: 1. Jimmy Rollins, ss; 2. Shane Victorino, cf; 3. Placido Polanco, 3b; 4. Ryan Howard, 1b; 5. Raul Ibanez, lf; 6. Ross Gload, rf; 7. Pete Orr, 2b; 8. Brian Schneider, c; 9. Joe Blanton, p.