Published August 25, 2010
NEW YORK – and a familiar spot in the batting order.
Florida's star shortstop tried to dye his dark hair blonde before Wednesday night's game against the New York Mets, but it didn't quite turn out that way. Ramirez's short, curly locks wound up a reddish-orange rust color after the salon experiment in his hotel room.
"It was supposed to be blonde. I did it myself. I think I've got to do it again," Ramirez said with a smile. "I got it too dark."
Ramirez said the new look had nothing to do with baseball — he just wanted to try something different.
Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez also made a notable change Wednesday, dropping Ramirez from the leadoff spot back to the No. 3 hole where he spent most of the season and has excelled in the past.
Cameron Maybin, recalled from the minors Tuesday, returned to the top of the lineup.
"I saw Cameron Maybin swinging yesterday and I'm very pleased the way that he swung the bat. So I met with the staff and (decided) that's the right way to do it," Rodriguez said. "And the other side, it's hard for me to see Hanley hitting with nobody on base. He's an RBI guy, so we made the switch."
The Marlins entered the night 11-14 with Ramirez batting leadoff and 47-47 when he hits third.
As for the slugger's hair, Rodriguez joked that his shortstop now resembles redheaded teammate Chad Tracy.
"That was the turning point. I saw his hair color and knew he was a No. 3 hitter," Rodriguez said, chuckling. "I don't know if he paid for it, but I asked him if they stole his money. ... He looks good. He's in New York and he's having fun."
Standing in front of his locker, Ramirez said he's glad to be back in the No. 3 spot — and he can't wait until teammate Dan Uggla dyes his hair, too.
"I want to hear an opinion from the fans — what do they think? Should I keep it?" Ramirez said.
Ramirez began the day batting .288 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs, a severe drop-off from his NL-best .342 average last year, when he also had 24 homers and 106 RBIs.
Ramirez said if the Marlins go on a 20-game winning streak, he'd consider keeping his new hair color. He said he thought about dyeing his young son's locks, too, but his own dye job stung too much.