Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yankee Edwar Ramirez was released 2ce by Angels---NY Times

"For four years, Ramírez tried to earn his way onto the field at Angel Stadium. And for four years, he failed bitterly. The Angels released Ramírez, not once, but twice.

The first time the Angels released him, after the 2003 season, Ramírez understood. The second time they released him, early in the 2005 season, he did not.

“It was bad,” Ramírez said. “It was really bad. I was like, ‘Why? Why?’ ”

  • Ramírez, who was in an independent league at this time a year ago, has emerged as an intriguing part of the Yankees’ revitalized bullpen.

“I waited a long time to be here,” he said.

When the Yankees arrived in Anaheim, Ramirez immediately called his best friend, Maximo Soto, in Miami. Like Ramírez, Soto played in the Angels’ minor-league system. Like Ramírez, Soto was released.

  • Every day during the summer of 2004, he (Ramirez) went to a field in Miami and taught himself to throw a changeup.

Eventually, Soto joined him at the field and caught for him. The work Ramírez did with Soto that summer, and the changeup he developed, altered his course.

“Now I’m pitching for the best team in the world,” Ramírez said. “So why couldn’t I play with the Anaheim Angels?

  • “I don’t even remember Edwar,” said José Molina, a Yankees catcher who used to be with the Angels. “I don’t think he was a guy they had in their plans.”

Early in Ramírez’s minor league career, he had difficulty seeing what pitches were being called, much less throwing them. The catcher would put down two fingers and Ramírez would only see one.

“He would want a slider and I would throw a fastball,” Ramírez said.

  • He finally visited an eye doctor and was fitted for prescription goggles."

(But he's also had to deal with being underweight, just doesn't like food that much).

"To this day, Ramírez is a startling sight on the mound — 6 feet 3 inches, 150 pounds, with goggles. Recalled to the majors last week, Ramírez worked two and one-third scoreless innings against Baltimore and two perfect innings against Detroit.

  • The field is finally his."

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