Thu, May 6th 2010, 11:31
For the last five years, second baseman Dan Uggla and shortstop Hanley Ramirez have grown up as big league players together right in the middle of the Sun Life Stadium infield. During a tough extra-inning loss Wednesday night, the two achieved a bit of a milestone, as Uggla and Ramirez each homered in the same game for the 20th time in their careers, the most for any current middle-infield combination.
“Being in the lineup with him and playing next to him the past four years and some change, I feel like we complement each other a lot,” Uggla said. “He’s always on base for me, and I’ve had the luxury of being able to drive him in for the last four years or so.”
There aren’t many active second base-shortstop duos with as much tenure and consistency as Uggla and Ramirez. Perhaps only two compare — Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano with the Yankees, and Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies.
Since Ramirez and Uggla pretty much came into the league together in ’06, the two have combined to hit .288 with 236 homers, 707 RBIs and 182 stolen bases. Comparatively, Cano and Jeter — in their sixth year together — have hit .318 with 141 homers, 678 RBIs and 111 stolen bases in that 2006-10 span. And Utley and Rollins — in Philadelphia together since ’03 — have combined to hit .289 with 214 homers, 736 RBIs and 219 stolen bases the last four-plus years.
“He’s the best of the best, and I’m just trying to tag along, man,” Uggla said of Ramirez.
“As far as power and run production, I’d say we’re pretty good.”
Uggla said he knows Ramirez “like the back of my hand” and considers him family. That can sometimes lead to quarrels, like the clubhouse shouting match Uggla and Ramirez got into in front of some media members last year. But Uggla said the two can go at each other like that — because they’re like family.