We are doing a bit of catching up on the news, so we start where we start.
Hanley Ramirez won't be playing Winter Ball.
Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins' All-Star shortstop, is one of the most popular players in the Dominican Republic, but fans in his native country won't see him in action until this spring.
The Marlins have told Ramirez that he can't play winter ball, a decision he reluctantly accepted, according to one of his agents.
The Marlins already are preparing for Ramirez and Mexican players Jorge Cantu and Alfredo Amezaga to spend less time than usual in Jupiter this spring because they plan to participate in the World Baseball Classic.
"We want to make sure Hanley is rested and healthy for the upcoming season and probable invitation to play in the WBC,'' Marlins baseball operations president Larry Beinfest said.
Probable?! I know the Dominican Republic turns out many excellent baseball players, but I can't imagine that they wouldn't extend an invitation to Hanley.
With a lot of infield positions being in a flux, this is not a good year for the WBC. Sure, Hanley will be the starting shortstop, but whether Cantu is at third or first and what role Alfredo will play is still in question. Unfortunately, those questions may not be answered in spring training.
But then again, the answers that come out of spring training are rarely the defining ones for the season. Though, it does happen on occasion.