FT. MYERS, Fla. - "That's too heavy. I can't jump that high."
That was Hanley Ramirez's answer on Thursday morning at Red Sox spring training when he was asked if he can fill David Ortiz shoes and become the new leader of the Red Sox.
In a half hour sit down with the Boston media, Ramirez was engaging and reflective on his career thus far. On his relationship with Ortiz, Hanley said, "He's my big brother, and at the same time he's my mentor".
Ramirez said he spoke with Ortiz pretty much every day this offseason. He also joked that he is keeping the DH spot warm for David's return and when that happens, Hanley will go back to left field.
As for the rumors and wishes that Big Papi will return for an encore season, Hanley denied them.
"David's not coming back. He's home with his family and we are going to have to do this ourselves," he said, looking straight into the cameras.
Ramirez has been given Ortiz's old locker in the Ft. Myers' Red Sox clubhouse. Apparently Ortiz called the Red Sox clubhouse workers and told them to make sure Hanley got his old locker.
"He (David) told me he wants me to be a leader in that clubhouse", said Ramirez.
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