Dawson, Perez take Ramirez aside

Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez took Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez aside on Tuesday and let him know he needed to apologize and atone for failing to hustle and showing up his manager, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Dawson and Perez, who are both special assistants to Marlins team president David Samson, talked to Ramirez for 15 minutes in a Sun Life Stadium office about an hour before Tuesday's game.

Ramirez was not in the lineup for that game. On Monday night, he was benched in the second inning for failing to hustle after a kicked ball. After the game, and Tuesday morning, he ripped manager Fredi Gonzalez to reporters for removing him from the game.

The two Hall of Famers -- Perez was inducted in 2000, while Dawson will be inducted this summer -- told Ramirez he needs to set an example and earn his teammates' respect, according to the report.

Dawson said he did most of the talking, according to the report. He said he started the lesson this way, with Perez at his side: " 'I'm not going to say a lot, because if you say the wrong the thing to me, then you might wind up on the floor on your rear end.'

"I said, 'I'm going to give it to you raw. I'm not telling you how to play the game. You have a ton of ability, but there's more than just going out and having a ton of ability. With that comes some ground rules, some things that you will learn as you go along the way.' "

According to the Post, Dawson added: " 'But you've got to start thinking about setting an example and having your teammates respect you in the manner that they should. That act that you put on, that's poor. That's not going to cut it.' "

Dawson, according to the report, also said he told Ramirez that if he thought his teammates had his back after the episode, he had another thing coming.

" 'You really have stepped across the line,' " Dawson said he told Ramirez, according to the Post. " 'You owe that manager a sincere apology. And if you think your teammates have your back with this, you've got another thing coming because the mind-set, and this is from me to you, the mind-set is these guys are laughing at you.' "

Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, accidentally booted a ball and then lightly jogged after it, allowing two runs to score Monday night in a 5-1 loss to Arizona.

Gonzalez benched Ramirez, who let loose with his criticisms the next day, saying he felt no need to apologize, he'd lost respect for his manager, and that "It's [Gonzalez's] team. He can do whatever ... He doesn't understand that. He never played in the big leagues."

On Wednesday, Ramirez apologized to his manager and teammates and was reinserted into the starting lineup.

"I'm sorry that all this got so ugly. My intent was not to cause a distraction," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com in a phone interview from St. Louis on Wednesday. "I'm sorry that things got this heated. The team, the fans, don't deserve it.

"We are all professionals here and we're pulling for the same side. I'll try to close this chapter and focus on playing baseball," Ramirez added.

According to the Post, Dawson also pointed out to Ramirez that the Marlins had invested a large chunk of money in him -- specifically, a six-year contract extension worth $70 million, signed in 2008.

" 'You better try and gravitate to why you think they invested this money in you,' " Dawson said to Ramirez, according to the Post. " 'Don't think that you're ever bigger than the game. I don't care how much money you make because this game will humble you and it will humble you fast.' "

The Marlins welcomed Ramirez back, then beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 as Ramirez went 3-for-5 and drove in a run.

"He told us he was sorry and he was wrong ... and he wouldn't let it happen again," teammate Wes Helms said Wednesday. "We just wanted him to do it, and he did it. So now it's done with."

"I think we're all parents here," Gonzalez said Wednesday. "Sometimes our children will say something that hurts, but it's no big deal, we still love them.

"After this is all said and done, 10-15 years down the road we'll sit down and say: 'What a privilege to get a chance to manage this type of ballplayer.' "

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.