Chicago Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez has had an All-Star first half, but he came on too late to win the fan voting at third base, or to be named as a reserve when the initial decision was made.

And now, when he was named as a replacement, it looks like that, too, came too late.

Ramirez was asked yesterday to join the NL All-Star team after injuries forced a few previously-selected players from the game, but Ramirez declined.

‘‘It was the last day, so I already have plans for my family,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s just too late.’’

A third-base spot opened on the National League roster when elected starter Placido Polanco of the Philadelphia Phillies was scratched because of a sore back. NL manager Bruce Bochy selected Ramirez to replace Polanco and contacted the Cubs on Sunday.

Ramirez finished the first half hitting .298 with 15 home runs and 51 RBI — numbers that far exceed most major-league third basemen.

‘‘If [they asked Saturday], probably,’’ Ramirez said of accepting. ‘‘It gives you a day to [adjust]. But I show up this morning, and they told me. No chance. I couldn’t make it.’’ Chicago Sun-Times.

Completely understandable.

Still, it’s disappointing, if for no other reason than it’s fun to see Cubs in the All-Star game. Last year, Marlon Byrd – the Cubs’ sole (and league-required) representative – stole the show with an incredible defensive play, and the winning run. In an otherwise sunless season, it was a bright spot. Hopefully Starlin Castro can provide some fun this year, but Ramirez would have doubled the chances that we have a good time watching the All-Star game.

Shrug. Again – I totally understand, and even respect, Ramirez’s decision.

  • Toosh

    More proof that he doesn’t really care if he plays any more or not. No matter what the game. Hopefully the Yankees are interested and he waives his NTC.

    • MichiganGoat

      I had the same initial thought but I’m never going to fault a guy to spend time with his family; however, I would think a player in his contract year would jump on another All-Star appearance. This move reinforces his desire to evoke his no-trade clause and stay a Cub until year end, since the AS break is a great time to meet and greet potential suitors. If the Cubs do not pick up his option I would not be surprised if he retires because a player who makes another contract and payday would be a fool to prevent a trade to a contender and possibly wing a ring.

    • rylan

      You’re not actually judging him for wanting to spend time with his family, are you? I don’t blame him in the least bit for declining.

  • CubFan Paul

    ummm, Maybe him skipping the AllStar game is ALL ABOUT GETTING TRADING was previously thought & reported that Ramy’s family was still here in the U.S. & he wouldn’t accept a trade UNTIL his family went back to the Dominican in early August for school ..That report was wrong (Levine reported it, i believe) & his family has already been in the Dominican. So maybe him skipping the AS game is ABOUT SEEING HIS FAMILY FOR THE LAST TIME until the end of the season ..commen sense people! his family is gone, he has a hot bat & if he’s traded he gets an EXTRA $1million assignment/relocation bonus. Screw the exhibition game, the Cubs aren’t making the playoffs & when Ramy gets back his representatives will let Hendry know that he can be dealt to the right team/situation ..Angels, Braves, Giants, Nats, Yankees who knows

  • Jelly

    Again I will state that the Detroit Tigers are the A+ option for the team who should want Ramirez this year. Brandon Inge is complete garbage at their 3B position.

  • die hard

    He forgot who pays his salary…we do…without this pay, he could not give his family the nice life they now enjoy…players often forget that this is their payback obligation to the idol worshiping fans..sick when you think about it that way…but also supports the dreams of youngsters who want to be a player and sustains the interest of this up and coming fan base without which the game will disappear…also a way to fund pension for long past players who paved the way for such outrageous contracts enjoyed by grossly overpaid players like Ramirez…and there are other reasons he should play which I will think of after having my first cup of coffee…p.s. Ricketts will let him go after this refusal if Ricketts is the super fan that he professes to be…in effect, is an affront to the Ricketts family who profess to be interested in the fan first and profits second…Ramirez didn’t get the memo..I need a cup of coffee…later

    • VanSlaw

      grossly overpaid players like Ramirez

      If you think players are grossly overpaid, then you must think the owners are making extremely way too much money, right?

  • die hard

    change of topic?…salaries have spiraled out of control…fans have to continue to boycott..low attendance records to be set this yr…roll back salaries and tkt prices to come down and attendance go up….owners make too much given subsidies by taxpayers of stadiums…end subsidies and let owners deal with it..then will see normalcy return…owners make too much when factor in such aid.

  • Caleb

    Does anyone else think, “Wow.. he’s an all-star caliber third baseman… yet when I think of him I think ‘not so good, definitely not all-star'”

    You can’t just suck, help get the team into “barely not the worst team in baseball,” then turn it on and say “look at my numbers- I’m good!” Sorry, Ramy16, I’m just not going to forget about April and May… it was pain!

    I’m officially on the “Keep Ramirez next year if we don’t have a better option and pay him between 50-60% of his current salary.” Sound reasonable?

    • MichiganGoat

      If we keep him we’ll have to pay the 14-16M option he has, unless we resign and extend him, in which case I think he’d want 3yrs/8M… Do we really want him around for the next three years.

  • Hogie

    Do any of you have families? If I made plans to see my family after not seeing them for however long, and cancelled them at the last minute for a volunteer, celebratory work event, they would be extremely dissapointed to say the least. Yes, he is overpaid. Yes, he seems to lack some passion for the game. Yes, he owes some debt of grattitude towards the fans. However, the fans didn’t vote him into the allstar game, and let’s not forget that these are real people, with real families. If anything I applaud the man for putting his family first and any of you with heart and logic should do the same.

  • die hard

    this is his job!!!!!…if your boss asked you to cancel vacation to help out company in emergency, what would you do?….Ramirez is giving us, his boss, the finger

    • VanSlaw

      I’m Ramirez’s boss? I’m extremely underpaid then.

    • Hogie

      If he asked me the very day that I was leaving, and there were numerous other options that would be eager to cover, and it was a CELEBRATORY event. Then I would politely tell him that I am unable. Would you cancel your family vacation for the office christmas party? If my boss flipped out about that then I probably would give him the finger!

  • Ron

    Being a father that travels for work I don’t fault his decision one bit, when I am home I want to be home. Look at it this way, you know the fans didn’t pick you, the managers first choices were not you and you already made plans. The day before you leave to be with family they say, everyone else said no but can you do this for me.

  • Curt

    I find Ramirez decision awful just further disrespect for the game he already had April and may off yud figure in a contract drive like aramis a good showing would have helped that and if he didn’t want to play whatever but c’mon make up a better exuse, if you had asked me Saturday I’d have went but not on Sunday , can’t wait till your gone you bum

    • VanSlaw

      Yikes. You do realize that Ramirez’s power was the only thing off in April and May, right? Brenly’s overactive Ramirez hatred seems to have spread seeds of ridiculousness.

      • Toosh

        And his defense and his interest in the game that day. Just like his interest in the All-Star game. If he doesn’t want to play any more, that’s fine. Let him feel that way in a different city.

        • VanSlaw

          Huh? What makes you think he isn’t interested in playing, honestly?

          • Brett

            You mean other than how he looks when he’s playing?

            • VanSlaw

              Meh. Slough is in the eye of the beholder.

              • Brett

                A town in Berkshire is in the eye of the beholder?

                (oh snap, I just Van’d Van!)

                • VanSlaw

                  Well, crap. Of course I meant sloth. That’s what I get for engaging online between questions to a hiring candidate.

                  Me: I can’t multi-task, obviously. But can YOU?
                  Candidate: Are you reading some sort of sports blog?
                  Me: Nope. I’m reading THE sports blog, beeyatch!
                  Candidate: What? You mean Bleacher Nation? Yuck. I’m a Cardinal fan.
                  Me: NEXT!

                  • Brett

                    Flattery will get you everywhere.

                    • VanSlaw

                      And Flaherty will get himself to Iowa.

  • Toosh

    Ditto. Pull the trigger, Jumbo. And if the gun looks like it’s pointing at you, don’t worry. Pull the trigger any way.

  • RoughRiider

    The “ALL-STAR” game isn’t what it used to be. From past experience I know It’s nice to get home for awhile when you’ve been away for months (I’ve been away and out of the country for 2 years at a stretch) so I can’t really fault Ramirez for going home for a couple of days instead of playing in a meaningless game. It’s a long season and frankly all the players could use a few R&R days off. I’d rather watch a minor league game or instructional league game any day.

    • hardtop

      roughriider, this isnt the nfl pro-bowl… the game, recently, has been somewhat competitive. Sadly, the all-start match is a meaning-FULL game. it’s meanginless to the Cubs, as they obvioulsy arent going to see the World series for awhile. But if you’re team is in playoff contention winning the all star game could be huge. ask the rockies (not suggesting they win the series that year but they might have nabbed a game or two)

      • Jeff

        We have to look at this from A-Ram’s perspective. He might not be in the NL for the World Series, why would he go out there and try against his future interest? If he’s playing for the Yankees in the World Series, but the NL team has homefield advantage because the super hot Aramis Ramirez was the deciding factor in the All Star game,how would he live with himself. I think this is just a case of his honesty and integrity shining through and him wanting to remain impartial in regards to his future services.

        • MichiganGoat

          Great point! I really hope the Commish reconsiders the home field advantage thing about the All-Game. I’m sure it puts undue pressure on players and I think that might be one of the reasons so many players opt out. If your banged up, tired, or not on a team that is going to the playoffs why would you want the pressure of being the player that might cost your league home field advantage. I hope it goes back to the fun exhibition it once was and players and coaches don’t have to take the game so seriously. Just set an inning limit and maybe use the outcome of the HR derby as a tie breaker.

        • Toosh

          You’re joking, right?