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Two monster seasons, one monster slump: What motivates Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez?

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Jose Ramirez constantly appears to be like like the life of the party. Whether or not he’s strolling through the locker space or actively playing 3rd base, it looks like tunes should be actively playing with peals of laughter and popping champagne corks in the background.

But following final season, he went property to the Dominican Republic and had an infield crafted in his yard. His family and friends use it, which includes his 16-12 months-aged brother Jose Baez Ramirez, who signed a slight-league offer with the Indians final 12 months.

“I crafted that for my friends and family,” claimed Ramirez previously this week in Goodyear, Ariz. “Everyone is welcome to play there. Even you reporters can come if you want.”

Mainly Ramirez had the infield crafted for himself so he could do the job out.

“That’s truly why I crafted it,” he claimed.

This winter season Ramirez pushed himself away from the supper table and came to camp six lbs . lighter than final spring.

“I didn’t eradicate any foods,” claimed Ramirez, through interpreter Anthony Medrano, who works in Indians’ player development section. “I just didn’t consume as significantly.”

Ramirez is coming off two heady seasons. Immediately after each individual a person he concluded 3rd in the AL MVP voting by the Baseball Writers Affiliation of The usa. Here are some of the matters he’s finished:

* He went 30-30 (39 homers, 34 steals) to become just the 3rd player in franchise historical past to do so.

* His 29 1st-50 % homers established a club file for change hitters and tied Lance Berkman and Mickey Mantle for the most in MLB historical past.

* Ramirez and teammate Francisco Lindor established a club file with 50 or a lot more more-base hits each individual right before the All-Star break.

* Ramirez and Lindor turned the 1st teammates with 80 or a lot more more-base hits in consecutive seasons (2017 and 2018) due to the fact Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig did it in 1936 and 1937 for the Yankees.

* Ramirez was the 1st Indians player to have at minimum 30 homers, 30 steals, 100 runs and 100 RBI in the exact same season.

* Ramirez leads the huge leagues with 172 more-base hits due to the fact the start off of 2017.

* He’s the 1st Indians 3rd baseman to start off consecutive All-Star Online games due to the fact Al Rosen in 1953 and 1954.

* Ramirez established the single-season club file final 12 months for homers by a change-hitter with 39.

All all those figures were sullied by two occasions. Ramirez ended final season in a 24-for-145 (.166) slump that possibly value him the AL MVP award. Then came his -for-11 exhibiting in a a few-game sweep by Houston in the ALDS.

It was the 2nd straight 12 months the Indians were eliminated in the ALDS and the 2nd straight 12 months Ramirez was neutralized when his group wanted him the most. Ramirez went 2-for-20 in 2017 as the Yankees eliminated the Indians in 5 video games pursuing their 102 regular-season wins.

What occurred at the conclusion of final 12 months is even now staying debated. Pitchers undoubtedly stopped throwing him fastballs, performing him about with breaking balls. Some claimed Ramirez bought carried away with reaching 40-40 and misplaced his swing.

A close friend pointed out that Ramirez has only had two slumps in his profession. The 1st a person came at the start off of the 2015 season when he was holding shortstop warm for Lindor. The 2nd arrived at the conclusion of final 12 months.

“Nobody is that constant except for Mike Trout,” claimed the close friend.

Questioned if he was about what occurred at the conclusion final season, Ramirez claimed, “I’m constantly motivated no make any difference how it is heading for me.”

Like finishing 3rd in the MVP voting in consecutive seasons. “That bought me a ton of focus in the Dominican,” claimed Ramirez. “I play for my family and it bought them a ton of focus. But the concept is to acquire it.”

The Indians have had only a few MVPs in their historical past – George Burns in 1926, Lou Boudreau in 1948 and Rosen in 1953. Burns won what was known as the League Award, which was offered 1922-28. The BBWAA’s MVP award didn’t start off until finally 1931.

This could be a significantly distinctive 12 months for Ramirez and the Indians. Edwin Encarnacion and Erik Gonzalez, who occupied the lockers up coming to him at Progressive Area, were traded. They weren’t the only types as the Indians cut payroll. In the meantime the relaxation of the AL Central has muscled up. The Tribe has won a few straight division titles even though barely breaking a sweat.

“I misplaced some friends,” claimed Ramirez, when requested about the trades and no cost agent departures. “But you have just bought to maintain heading and maintain grinding. You just can’t control what the group does.”

As for the Twins, White Sox, Tigers and Royals drawing a bead on the Indians, Ramirez claimed, “I really don’t fork out too significantly focus to that. I just want to get myself as completely ready as doable.”

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