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Proof that Hanley Ramirez read Tom Brady's book

Rob Bradford
April 26, 2018 - 10:31 am

TORONTO -- It's not difficult to identify the difference in Hanley Ramirez.

The early-season numbers -- hitting .316 with an .856 OPS, three home runs and three stolen bases -- are a start. But instances like the opposite field, 112 mph line-drive screamer he hit about 10 feet off the ground Wednesday night should also offer some evidence regarding the first baseman's evolution.

At this time last year this was a guy still worried about his shoulders, who remained focused on getting bigger and stronger. On April 23, 2017, Ramirez was hitting .210 with a .575 OPS. It wasn't a good place to be. Yet, for some reason, Ramirez had faith better, and different, times were ahead.

"I knew that there were some muscles in my body that weren’t working," Ramirez said. "But I couldn’t figure out a way to find out a way to find out which ones they were."

Then, about toward the end of the 2017 season, he started thinking about Tom Brady.

After some discussion, his strength and conditioning mentors turned him on to the bands and workout that the Patriots quarterback was very publicly in support of. He gave it a whirl, but with limited results. Still, it was the image of Brady that made Ramirez know this was hte right path.

"The first week or two weeks, I was like, ‘Shoot, I don’t feel anything.’ You’re getting stronger in a deeper part of the body. When you do heavy weights you feel bigger and stronger right away," Ramirez said. "You’re not going to feel it right away. If you do it for like a week, you’re not going to feel much different. But slowly your brain is taking it all in.

"I saw Brady. He’s skinny but he maintains strength through the whole year. Forty years old, still has a strong arm. That tells you you don’t have to be big to produce."

Then came the book.

Ramirez actually took the time to sift through Brady's instructional manual for living life, reading "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance."

"It was like it was me. They made it for me," Ramirez said of the book. "There were a lot of things that were in the book that happened to me. With the little muscles, the brain and all that stuff. ... In the book he said a lot of things that are right. You have to remember in your mind you need those muscles. That’s what the bands do."

Now Ramirez is about eight pounds lighter than a year ago, while not worrying about those shoulders which appeared to be his career's death knell not too long ago. He says he hasn't felt this good since his days in Miami (which was seven seasons ago). He still hasn't talked to Brady, but Ramirez has been in contact with the TB12 folks.

Brady. Gronk. Now Hanley. Whatever works.

And all of it has left a positive first impression on his new manager, to boot.

"Good baserunning, but not surprising because he did it with the Marlins and the Dodgers," said Alex Cora when asked what stood out about Ramirez now that he is managing his former teammate. "But the quality of his at-bats, probably late in games too, that pitch from [Toronto closer Roberto] Osuna yesterday, he tried to throw a front-door cutter and he’s able to stay inside which means he’s healthy. Honestly, he brings energy every day. The way he acts in the clubhouse, the way he interacts with the players, he has this saying when he comes in every day in the clubhouse, he’s like, now we have a chance. That’s cool because he keeps everybody loose. You see him on the videos watching during the game. He has the jersey or whatever, but he’s interacting with everybody."

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