Ramirez lashes out at Marlins manager over benching

MIAMI (Reuters) - Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez lashed out at manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday after being pulled from a game for not hustling.

"It's his team. He can do what he (expletive) wants," Ramirez told Major League Baseball's website (www.mlb.com) before the Marlins played the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ramirez was not in the starting lineup and Gonzalez said he did not know when the All-Star shortstop would return.

"We don't have to get along, but I think he has to get along with the 24 other guys on this team," the manager said. "When that happens, we'll run him back in there.

"When he sets his ego aside, this could be good."

Gonzalez benched Ramirez during Monday's 5-1 loss to Arizona after the shortstop inadvertently kicked a fly ball that had dropped in for a hit in the second inning, then casually pursued it into left field.

Two runs scored on the play.

"I wasn't trying to give up," Ramirez said. "That was the hardest I could go after the ball."

The 2009 National League batting champion said he was in pain after being hit in the left leg by a ball fouled off his bat. He had a bandage on the leg Tuesday.

"It's OK. He doesn't understand that. He never played in the big leagues. That's fine," Ramirez said. "It started with me. Let's see how far it goes."

Asked if he had lost respect for Gonzalez because of the benching, the shortstop responded, "A little bit."

But he said he had no plans to apologize to his team mates or Gonzalez.

"For what?" he said. "We've got a lot of people jogging it, after ground balls. They don't pull guys."

(Writing by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Steve Ginsburg)