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Former Boston Red Sox first baseman and current free agent Hanley Ramirez might be in serious hot water with the authorities, as the 34-year-old is “being eyed in connection with an ongoing federal and state investigation,” according to an ominous tweet from ABC News investigative journalist Michele McPhee.
McPhee, who helped break the Aaron Hernandez story, did not provide many more details on the investigation, but did go further into why Ramirez is involved with the investigation during a radio interview.
Hanley Ramirez and a ‘substantial’ drug ring
During an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub, McPhee reported the authorities’ interest in Ramirez stems from a contact of Ramirez being stopped by police with a “significant amount of drugs” in the car.
Here’s the key part of the interview, transcribed by CBS Boston.
“There has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
McPhee reported that the suspect who was pulled over — a person who was not Ramirez — was found with “435 grams of fentanyl as well as a large amount of crack cocaine.”
“There is a sweeping federal case involving a substantial ring that’s being operated out of Lawrence, Massachusetts,” McPhee said. “And I think the suspect had ties to that ring.”
Ramirez was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last month after hitting a below-average .254/.313/.395 to begin the season and has since remained unsigned. While that might have not been too odd on the surface considering Ramirez is now primarily a first baseman who has posted just one above-average season according to OPS+ in the last four seasons, it sure makes a lot more sense now.
Red Sox, MLB’s reactions to Hanley Ramirez report
Neither the Red Sox nor Major League Baseball’s office had comment on the report according to NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich, though a Red Sox spokesman noted they were not made aware of the report until a reporter reached out. Ramirez himself denied the allegations, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
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