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Tit for tat: Hanley Ramirez pokes back at David Samson

      In a Q&A interview with MLB.com, Marlins president David Samson said one of the reasons that infielder Hanley Ramirez was traded in July was because the team wasn't winning with him. Actually, Samson's comments were mild compared to the explanation that was given to me by another front office exec just after the deal was made. He said the team's higher-ups had decided that Ramirez was "a loser," implying that NO team could win as long as he was on it.

      Well, Samson's comments reached Ramirez, who fired off a barb of his own: "Now are they winning without me?"

      Ramirez might have added for extra measure that, without him, the Marlins now have a third base problem, one they will try to to address during the offseason. But he didn't. As Bill Shaikin points out in this Los Angeles Times notebook. the Dodgers' winning percentage has declined since Ramirez's arrival -- "from winning percentages of .541 before and .467 after" -- even though his raw offensive numbers have improved a shade.