Hanley Ramirez loves to talk about family. Whether he means his actual family or his “brothers” on the Los Angeles Dodgers as he put it, Ramirez is never short on words when it comes to everybody else but him. The three-time All-Star has been one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball since coming back from an injury in the middle of June (batting .377 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI) and in that time, the Dodgers has piled up the victories and is now at the top of the National League West.
We spoke with Ramirez prior to Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees and talked about the run the Dodgers are currently on and what has been the key to their success, which of course includes family. We also get a chance to talk about his love of the popular Skylanders video games and how it has become a family favorite in his house.
Examiner: Dodgers have been on a pretty good roll, starting at the bottom of the standings and now you’re in first place. What’s the feeling right now at the clubhouse?
Ramirez: We never give up. We felt like (at the beginning of the season), we weren’t where we wanted to be. We knew that we had to keep grinding and get through the tough moments and that (being in last place) won’t (last) forever. Everybody is pulling for each other and happy for each other.
Examiner: And last night (note: this interview was before last night’s loss to the Yankees) the team pulled through and got a pretty big win against the Yankees…
Ramirez: Right, we try to take it day by day and not think ahead too much and take care of the little things so that we’re ready for anything that comes up. Winning is unbelievable, man and we don’t worry about the negative stuff.
Examiner: You have actually been on a pretty good hitting roll lately What would you say has been key to that and what’s been different than maybe previous hot stretches that you’ve had?
Ramirez: It’s really the 25 guys on the team and not about me. It’s not one guy sport, it’s about (literally) everybody, from the coaches to the staff, it all has to work together, like a family. We’re all a family here.
Examiner: You’ve been in Los Angeles for a little over a year now, how has the transition from Miami to your new home?
Ramirez: My family has great, you know? When we left from Boston to Miami and then from Miami to Los Angeles, we all had to leave everything behind and they always gave me the support. From my parents, to my wife and my kids, we’re all very happy to be here.
Examiner: Well, speaking of family, we’ve heard that your kids is really into the Skylanders video games. Where that really start from?
Ramirez: It’s unbelievable, really. My kids and myself really like it. It’s a great way to (bond) with my sons.
Examiner: Do you find yourself playing Skylanders with your kids or do you just watch them play?
Ramirez: I play the game, definitely. The kids are really happy when they get to play (Skylanders) with me. It’s (those kind of experiences) that you’re never going to forget (bonding with your kids).
Examiner: Is there any character that you enjoy using in Skylanders, there are so many to choose from?
Ramirez: It’s fun to play with different characters and using the Portal of Power. It’s great to see them come to life. My favorite Skylander would have to be Lightning Rod because the character reminds me of myself when I’m on the field. That’s a great character right there. And my kids are definitely looking forward to playing the next game Skylanders Swap Force too.