When the Red Sox open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium tonight Xander Bogaerts will be seeking to check off two items from his to-do list. Get first major league hit. Meet Hanley Ramirez. Growing up in Aruba Bogaerts felt a kinship with Ramirez whom he viewed as a fellow tall skinny kid who could break the typical shortstop mold. And he watched as the former Red Sox top prospect became an All-Star with the Marlins after being traded in 2005’s Josh Beckett deal. Now Bogaerts is the jewel of the Sox’ farm system while Ramirez is back at shortstop (after a brief turn last year at third base) and enjoying a career resurgence. He’s batting .348 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 62 games with the Dodgers. “I always just liked the way he plays the way he swings the bat and stuff” Bogaerts said. “He was big also kind of like me. He was just and he still is a great player.” Bogaerts actually caught a glimpse of Ramirez at a San Francisco hotel before the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic in March. But the 20-year-old shortstop was playing ping pong with a few teammates from Team Netherlands and chose not to interrupt the game to introduce himself. “Just seeing him on the field it was nice for me” Bogaerts said. And if he should spot Ramirez hanging around the batting cage this weekend would Bogaerts be so bold as to say hello? “Yeah why not?” he said with a smile. “Who knows? Maybe it will happen.” Shane satisfied One unintended consequence of the Sox-Dodgers megatrade: It helped make right fielder Shane Victorino available on the free agent market. Victorino ended last season in Los Angeles after being dealt at the trade deadline by the Phillies. But when the Dodgers acquired left fielder Carl Crawford from the Sox and added him to an outfield with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier and had Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig on the way Victorino knew he didn’t figure into their long-term plans.
Hanley Ramirez has an admirer
Boston Herald | Aug 23