Today the Cubs go for a fourth straight series win, which is easy to forget, given all the distractions…

  • Earlier in the weekend, CSN’s Todd Hollandsworth tore into former teammate Aramis Ramirez for what he perceived to be a lack of effort, and a poor influence on the Cubs’ younger players (both things at which we’ve all hinted around here, if not outright said). “When you’ve got your best player [Aramis Ramirez] — he’s your best hitter; we’ve watched it for years now — and you can’t seem to have a positive effect on the guys around you in the clubhouse … getting them to step up or play to a different level, it’s just hard for me to swallow, ­especially when you’re being paid to be that guy …. Then you bring into question effort, and that’s one thing in the game of baseball that really is inexcusable. One hundred percent effort all the time — there’s really no reason for you not to have 100 percent effort. He’s got impressionable kids around him right now — Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro. These kids are growing up, they’re watching it, and you know what? They’re not getting any better.”
  • Ramirez responded with a defense, and then some harsh words of his own. “One thing I got to say is I’ve never seen [Hollandsworth] in the clubhouse, so I don’t know how he comes up with that. He should ask the young guys before he makes that kind of statement. Talk to Barney, talk to Castro, and see what they say. That’s all I’ve got to say. Oh, and one [more] thing I’d like to say: I wouldn’t trade my career for his. I think I’ve got a way better career than he did.” Snap.
  • Mark Grace says the Cubs should have (and still should) hired Ryne Sandberg. “First of all, the Cubs needed a PR jolt and certainly Ryne Sandberg is a god in Chicago,” Grace said. “He is Walter Payton, he is Michael Jordan. He is that person. Chicago’s entertainment is sports, they are so passionate and they love their own. What Hall-of-Famer goes down and rides buses for five years and pay their dues? Hall-of-Famers don’t do that. It just made all the sense in the world to give it to Sandberg because he is a hell of a manager.”
  • Greg Maddux, who helps the Cubs evaluate their upper-level prospects, had this to say when asked about the potential for kids to step in and help the Cubs soon: “A couple of good relievers maybe that can help out. You never know what’s going to happen until guys get out there and do it. The potential’s there.” Yikes. I can read between those lines.
  • Andrew Cashner felt good after throwing to live hitters yesterday. He’ll throw again on Tuesday, and soon the Cubs will make a decision on the rest of his 2011 season. If he doesn’t return to the Cubs, they may have him throw in the Arizona Fall League.
  • Casey Coleman is expected to be called up to replace Carlos Zambrano in the rotation (you are a lucky man, Rodrigo Lopez) on Wednesday. In the interim, the Cubs may go with a 24-man roster, or may call up a reliever for a little extra depth.


  • Brian

    Ramirez’s statement sounded rather defensive, although he didn’t address Hollandsworth calling him out on his lack of effort, which makes me wonder if he knows it’s true. And for Ramirez to dig on Hollandworth’s career is really low. Sure, Todd didn’t put up amazing numbers, but for the short time he was with the Cubs, he put effort into each and every game he played, at bat and in the field.

  • MichiganGoat

    Reading between ARam’s statement I don’t see a denial just a deflection: go ask the kids (does anyone think Barney or Castro is going to speak I’ll of him) and I had a better career than you did, does not strongly deny the claims. I look to see if former teammates and current players come to his defense or stay silent. When it come to bringing ARam back this has to be a major factor to consider and it’s a reason why Pena has value to a young team.

  • Dave

    Hollandsworth was Rookie of the Year and has a World Series ring, what does Aramis have for hardware?

    • Brian

      Well, he has two All-Star appearances, but I’m pretty sure they don’t give you trophies or plaques for that. Or rings.

    • Brian Myers

      I’m not disagreeing with Todd, but the hardware argument is over rated. For instance, there’s a guy that only made it to 2 all star games in his career, 12 years apart. Never won a major award in his career, the closest he got to any major award was 3rd and for MVP was 13th.

      He did win 2 world series, but in those years:

      1.) First world series season: he won 12 games in 37 starts.
      2.) Second World series season: he went 15 and 12 and gave up a league leading 46 home runs.

      His name is Bert Blyleven and he just went in the baseball hall of fame.

      Point being : awards and stats are over-rated….

      • Dave

        Neither Aramis nor Hollandsworth is making the Hall of Fame. Knowing that, what would you rather retire with, a solid career and $100,000,000 dollars or less money and lesser stats and the World Series ring?

        • STG3

          I personally would take the ROY and World Series ring. In my opinon you get above 20 mil the rest too much. 2O mil is way over what most people make in a lifetime.

          • Dave

            I’m sure there are plenty of other people who would rather have Hollandworth’s career (in which he made just short of $14 million) than Aramis’ for those very reasons. Would it be a stretch to say Aramis would rather have money than a championship?

        • Brian Myers

          Hollandsworth made $13,595,000 in his career, Aramis: $87,285,000

          20 years from now no one will think of Hallandsworth, Aramis will still be discussed.

          Aramis will be a Hero in the Dominican… Hollandsworth a statistic.

          Hollandsworth will have a lot of pride in what he accomplished, but a bit of a hole will exist as he’ll never be known as one of the best at his position.

          Aramis will have a lot of pride in what he accomplished and lots of people will come up and tell of the pride they have in just knowing/meeting him. He’ll have a hole in his professional accomplishments, but it won’t eat at him his entire life.

          Hollandsworth will have made enough that his kids will be taken care of.

          Aramis that his grandkids and community could be taken care of.

          So the truth… I’d be Aramis (if all things in family/health are even) instead of Hollandsworth any day of the week.

          • pfk

            That says alot about you. Mostly not good.

            • Ron Swanson

              Typical Cubs fans. Love the scrappy little guy that hustles because some how that is what wins championships apparently. Come one. I wish Aramis hustled more too. But because someone would take Aramis’s career over the immortal Todd freakin Hollandsworth makes them a bad person? Ridiculous. This board has become more emotional and knee-jerk everyday. What is it tomorrow? A debate whether Campana has more value to this team then Sammy Sosa did because of his scrappy factor?

              • pfk

                The comment had to do with only looking at the numbers and nothing else but the numbers. I said nothing of scrappy little guys who hustle. And, I said nothing of taking Aram’s career over Hollandsworth’s.There are alot of players with good numbers who were/are flat out losers and a horrible influence and presence. And there were/are players with average numbers who are just plain winners. You can’t compare on just salary and numbers alone as was done. He’s a classic example of a person who should NOT be a GM.

                • Ron Swanson

                  I hear you pfk. Point taken. But Aramis is not Milton Bradley or Barry Bonds…etc. Hollandsworth’s rant and this insuing backlash is an over reaction in my opinion. Aramis has done a lot of good things. Has he been our Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter? No. But he’s not been a dog either and it seems he’s heading the down the road of being villanized by Cub fans on his way out. That is not fair. Especially when its started by a glorified utility player in the media.

  • Goat

    Is it even worth arguing about? We all know Ramirez (And Soriano) dog it 90% of the time. Anyone who says otherwise is delusional. Hollandsworth or any other media member can call them out all they want, but until the manager holds them accountable nothing will change.

    • Deez

      LMAO! Did Hollandsworth tell anyone something that we already didn’t know!?
      Can’t wait for the Cubs & Hendry to pick up that option!
      Culture Status Quo.

  • RoughRiider

    Todd Hollandsworth, The Mouth That Roared. Another Rosenboob.

  • BFM

    I think Todd Hollandsworth and Steve Stone should get a room!

    • Ron Swanson

      Amen brother.

  • Kyle N

    Not choosing to take sides on this, but rather point out a rather interesting trend.

    Hollandsworth’s comments are actually rather common among ex-players working in the media.

    1) They will say that they “respected the game and always played hard, saying that “Player X” isn’t doing the same with their attitude and work-ethic. It’s a classic case of the “older I am, the better I was” syndrome. It’s easy to gloss over your own career and not realize that there were days when you might have not played your hardest either. Nonetheless, they start to see signs of annoyance and may even start to focus in on one particular player day after day (Ramirez in this case). Add to the fact that the Cubs have stunk the last couple years (matching Hollandsworth’s quote of Ramirez doing this for the last couple years) and that Ramirez played poorly for stretches and you have the perfect storm for an argument like this to happen. Plus, he works for a media outlet, so I’m sure he is getting “Is the acceptable?”,”How would you react if you were in the clubhouse?”, “What was your mentality as a player?” from his colleagues. Kind of like pouring gasoline on the fire.

    2) It bothers the former role-players, our so-called “scrappy guys”, and overachievers the most, especially when a high-priced talented player seems to dog it or play less than 100%. I’m sure there is jealousy because the game comes so easy these superstars while they had to bust their ass just to be assured a job. You can find this sort of behavior in every single job-field in the world. A incredibly popular musician with loads of natural talent and an amazing singing voice who gets into all kinds of personal trouble and leads a wild, reckless lifestyle is going to get lambasted by musicians all over the world who spend hours practicing, year after year with little to show for it. Someone who is naturally smarter might be able to get a top job as a lawyer, doctor, or corporate businessman even if they screw around, waste time, or “half-ass” it. You think the young person who had to study their ass off to pass the bar/get into Med School, pay all their school bills, work two jobs to make ends meet is going to be a bit angry?
    That’s life. Some people are just better than others at things. Some catch breaks or get stuff handed to them. The rest of us have to work. Hollandsworth chose to vent his frustrations toward a guy who was a naturally better baseball player than he was.

    3) Ramirez’s response is a common comeback. “Who the hell are you to say that about me? You don’t play baseball anymore and in fact, you weren’t very good.” It often doesn’t actually address the criticism, but rather acts as a defense mechanism.

    (If an analyst with no experience is doing the criticizing, then “Did you ever play baseball before? No? Then shut up, you don’t know (expletive expletive) about anything. . ” is a common substitution.)

    When Ramirez retires and reflects, I’m sure he’ll look back at his baseball career, all the memories, and start think about everything in the grand scheme of things. If someone interviewed him and showed him a transcript of this incident when he was forty-five years old, he probably wouldn’t be proud of it.

    This isn’t the first time a former player calls out a current one. And it won’t be the last. In fact, you can almost view it as a formulaic process.