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Hanley Ramirez holds court on David Ortiz and Red Sox: ‘David, he left everything here’

02.16.17 at 11:24 am ET
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Hanley Ramirez meets the media at the start of spring training on Thursday. (Rob Bradford/WEEI.com)

Hanley Ramirez meets the media at the start of spring training on Thursday. (Rob Bradford/WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hanley Ramirez misses David Ortiz, but he’s determined to honor the memory of his former teammate.

Making his first appearance of the spring at JetBlue Park, a muscular and fit Ramirez paid tribute to Ortiz while also making it clear the Red Sox must forge their own identity without him.

“I think David, what we did last year was really, really, really nice,” Ramirez said. “But we don’t have the championship. We’re here to win championships and we still have that bad taste in our throat. This year we’re going to go harder even more. Because we want to get the job done. David, he left everything here. We’re just going to keep grinding and let everybody know David was a winner, great teammate who kept everybody together and we’re going to do the same thing.”

For more on Ortiz, and why Ramirez says, “he’s my everything,” check out this story.

Meanwhile, Ramirez touched on a number of other subjects.

— On Pablo Sandoval: “Like I told him, out of five, six games, I just need two good games out of him, at least. We’ve just got to build his confidence back, let him know we got his back, we need him to win. We’re going to need him.”

— On advice Ortiz gave him about DHing for most of the season: “Do you really want to know what he told me? Someday you’re going to get crazy because all you can do is hit and when things are not going good, what can you do? You just go out there and try not to think about it until your next at-bat. Honestly he told me at first it’s going to be a little hard because when you can play defense you can help the team in two ways. But DH it’s pretty much just offense but I’ve just got to find a way to separate between those at-bats and cheer from the dugout.”

— On the team’s young stars, including Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Xander Bogaerts: “It’s unbelievable how good our young guys are. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen something like it. Everyone has a routine. As soon as they go into the clubhouse, they’re doing something. They’re in the cage, they’re lifting. Everybody — Jackie, Bogey, Mookie, Benintendi. For us, it makes it easy in those moments. When we really need somebody [like Ortiz] is when we’re going through tough times. We need that guy to step it out and talk and let us know to keep our heads up.”

Read More: David Ortiz, hanley ramirez, he's my everything, Red Sox
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