I tend not to dwell on former Cubs (though I curse them when they come back through town on another team, performing far better than they did with the Cubs). Once they’re gone, I wish them well, but I’m not going to concern myself with everything they say and do. The same is true for former Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who is now the Milwaukee Brewers’ third baseman. Go forth and do swell, Aramis.

But Ramirez offered two quotes recently to the Sun-Times that I couldn’t not share.

First, on new Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein, and the man he kinda-sorta replaces, Jim Hendry:

‘‘I think Jim was successful in Chicago,’’ Ramirez said of Hendry. ‘‘We made the playoffs three times, and I don’t know if any other GMs have done that for the Chicago Cubs. It’s hard to win [a championship], but we competed….

‘‘It don’t work that way, man,’’ Ramirez said when asked about Epstein coming in and getting the job done. ‘‘Obviously, he’s been successful before in Boston. I’m sure he’s got a game plan; hopefully, it works. But it’s not that easy. It was a different situation when he got the job in Boston [nine years ago]. They were ready to win then; they just needed a couple of pieces, and he went out and got it, and he won.’’

Interesting, but not surprising. And not necessarily wrong, either – no one disputes that the Red Sox were in a very different place back then than the Cubs are now. Still, it’s strange to hear Ramirez stepping on the Cubs’ plans like that. Perhaps Ramirez has lingering affection for Hendry, and feels like it would be a betrayal to talk up Epstein. Or maybe Ramirez is now a Brewer through-and-through, and is ready to start playing into the rivalry.

The more interesting quote offered by Ramirez, though, responded to criticisms he faced from Cubs’ color man, Bob Brenly, after Ramirez was on his way out the door. Primarily, Brenly has ripped Ramirez as being a bad influence on younger players, a bad defender, a bad baserunner, and more. In response, Ramirez busted out the player card.

‘‘You talking about Bob Brenly?’’ Ramirez said when asked about recent criticism. ‘‘I ain’t going to get into a war with Brenly or any other guy. Brenly played the game. He knows how it is. And if you want, you can put my numbers right next to his and see who did better in their career.’’


The whole Sun-Times piece makes for an interesting read, as it features a response from Brenly (in short: he just thinks Ramirez could have been a lot better if he’d worked harder), more from Ramirez on his time with the Cubs (“I’m not Tony Campana”), and thoughts from other Cubs.

(I bet you didn’t know that Brenly actually had a career 106 OPS+, which is pretty good. It doesn’t match Ramirez’s 114, nor do Brenly’s overall stats stack up with Ramirez’s, but, hey, it’s interesting.)

  • bt

    I would have lost a lot of money on a “Bob Brenly career OPS+ over/under” bet. A LOT of money.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ditto. I assumed it was going to be in the 80ish range, tops

  • Fishin Phil

    I think Brenly got the most out of the talent he possesed. I think Ramirez did the same several years ago. I don’t think you can say the same of the Ramirez we saw the last couple of years.

    • EQ76

      maybe that’s Brenly’s point.. ARam never really utilized his talent to the fullest. Maybe Brenly got the most out of his abilities and wished ARam would have done the same.

      • Joe

        Definitely his point, and I’m inclined to agree with him.

  • Deer

    Ramirez was a great Cub. Hopefully most fans acknowledge that and don’t have irrational hate for him as they do for many former Cubs. He’s also right about the challenge Theo faces and Theo would probably agree.

    • aCubsfan

      A Great Cub? You are joking of course. You could never talk about Ramirez in the same breath as Santo, Williams, Banks, Sandberg.

      Ramirez is trying to bag on Brenly because he knows Bob was right to be on his ass. Ramirez always took the easy way out. His ole’ defense cost the Cubs dearly. And, if he wants to play tough guy with Brenly, where was Ramirez when the Cubs needed his bat the most in the playoffs?

      As Brenly and many others have pointed out, Ramirez was no where to be found when the chips were on the line.

      • Smitty

        Your points are not wrong, but to ignore everything else he did to get the team to the playoffs is shortsighted.

        No he isn’t going to get his # flown on a flag at Wrigley like the true “greats” over the years. Over hte last 10 years, though, he was arguably our best player so I think using the term great isn’t inappropriate.

        • aCubsfan

          Baseball is a team game. One player can’t do everything. In 2007 & 2008, he had decent years, but there were other players on those teams that had good years as well, like Lee and Soriano. But he failed to show up at crunch time in the playoffs. ‘Greats’ show up in crunch time!

          While he may have been ONE of the “better” players on the Cubs during his 9 seasons with the Cubs he doesn’t deserve to be spoken about in the same light as Santo, Banks, Williams, or Sandberg. Or even have the word ‘great’ associated with him.

          ‘Greats’ are reserved for the Hall of Fame, and by no means is Ramirez a Hall of Fame 3rd baseman like Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs or George Brett. He very well could have if he actually cared about how he played the game and actually put some effort into his game.

          I believe the reason Sandberg wasn’t selected to be the Cubs manager in 2011 because of players like Ramirez and Dempster didn’t want to be held accountable for their play and actions. They had it easy under Henry and Quade.

          • Noah

            I agree with you that Aramis Ramirez is not anywhere near the player that Santo, Banks, Williams or Sandberg was, but your idea that to be a great a player has to show up in “crunch” time would make it so only arguably Sandberg is great among those players. Santo, Banks and Williams never even made the postseason. In their best opportunity to do so, 1969, they had a historic fade down the stretch. Sandberg did play well in two NLCS series, but in an extremely small sample size.

            Aramis Ramirez is not an all time great by any means. But his playoff struggles do not change the fact that, overall, he was the Cubs’ best player over his tenure with the Cubs.

      • cccubfan

        Ramirez wants to compare stats – how about we find the stat for actually running out a grounder or a fly ball and see who takes the top spot. Brenly was a hard nosed player from what I remember seeing and I agree that ARam’s name shouldn’t be mentioned with Santo/Banks/Williams/Sandberg….

    • EQ76

      his body language and assumed laziness are his biggest knock. Either way, dude was a top 5 offensive third-baseman in all of baseball the past decade and the best 3B we have had since Santo.

      He had only 1 down year in his 8 and a half years as a Cub and still hit 25HRs and knocked out 83 runs in that down year. Every other year his avg, hovered around .300.

      He never had off field issues, was liked by teammates and was the most consistent run producer we’ve had since Sosa. Hall of Famer?? Probably not, 2nd best Cubs 3B of all time?? could be.

      love him or hate him, we’re gonna miss his bat in our lineup this year.

      • TWC

        “…2nd best Cubs 3B of all time?? could be.”

        Are you insane?  Aren’t you forgetting about Ron Coomer?

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          I actually met Ron Coomer, was a real down to earth guy.

        • EQ76

          ha! I wanted to go with Vance Law but decided otherwise.. Hopefully one day we’ll be throwing Javier Baez into this conversation.

          • miggy80

            What about Ron Cey?

            • Stinky Pete

              Stan Hack? BattleAxe?

      • aCubsfan

        Best since Santo? I’d have to argue that.

        Bill Madlock won back-to-back batting titles in 1975 and 1976 with the Cubs and won 2 more battling titles. At age 25 was sent to the SF Giants. He had a very good 15-year career. One can only wonder what would have happened if the Cubs hadn’t traded him.

        Has Ramirez won any battling titles? Has he won a World Series Ring?

        Both Madlock (72 plate appearances) and Ramirez (77) have been in 4 postseason series.

        Madlock .308 .375 .523 .898
        Ramirez .194 .299 .433 .732

        • http://dailybigten.com DBT

          For whom?

          • aCubsfan

            Not for Ramirez.

        • EQ76

          “Has Ramirez won any battling titles? Has he won a World Series Ring?”

          are you f-ing kidding me?? did you just ask if he’s won a World Series Ring?? We’re talking about top Cubs players, for the past 100+ years, NONE OF THEM HAVE WON A WORLD SERIES RING!!!! (as a Cub)

          Also, we aren’t saying ARam was the best post season 3B Cub since Santo, that’s a fraction of the season. So what, Ramirez struggles in a 3 or 4 game post season and that negates the previous 162 games??

          ARam v. Madlock is apples and oranges. So, Madlock hit for a higher average but didn’t have the power and run production that ARam had. He never had more than 19 HRs, never knocked in 100 runs, had a lower slugging, OPS, and fewer runs scored average than ARam. He was also only a Cub for 3 years and is considered a Pirate great more than a Cub great.

          He may have had a better career, but wasn’t a Cub for most of that career. ARam was a Cub 3 times longer. IF the Cubs kept him we probably would be saying “ARam is the best Cub 3B since Santo/Madlock” but they didn’t. Heck, we might as well be saying “Lou Brock was the best Cub lead off hitter of all time”

          • Joe

            Anybody know what a rhetorical question is?

            • Frank

              Is that a rhetorical question?

          • Frank

            Just to set things straight about my comments–I don’t think Ramirez deserves all the hate either–I liked him with the Cubs. As to the comparison with Madlock–Ramirez undoubtedly had much better power numbers; but with the way players move around these days, three years (Madlock’s time with the Cubs) is still significant–though you’re right–the comparisons aren’t quite equal. But Madlock did have a higher OPS+ (139 to 126), higher OBP (.397 to .356), and higher BA (.336 to .294) in his time with the Cubs, and I still say he was a better fielder and baserunner (those stats, btw, refer only to each players’ time with the Cubs. They are not career numbers).

      • Frank

        I’d go with Santo, Stan Hack, and Bill Madlock as the Cubs’ top 3 third basemen ever–Ramirez would probably be 4th.

  • Joy

    Brenly called it as he and many other people saw it. Brenly never touted his prowess as a player. I have watched him since he began on air with the Cubs and I often hear him make a comment about how bad of a hitter he was. Ramirez thought his crap didn’t stink and I for one am glad his crap is some where else now.

    • aCubsfan

      Can’t agree more Joy.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      Rammy was a lazy, underachiever and as far as I am concerned good riddance, period!
      Brenly always played the game the right way and Ramirez would have honored himself to have done the same.
      Sorry Brett, but he has now shown himself to be a jerk too, and I no longer wish him well.

  • King Jeff

    Doesn’t Brenly have a ring, while Ramirez thinks going to the playoffs 3 times in 9 years is pretty good. I loved Ramirez while he was with the Cubs and wish him as much success as I could for a Brewer, but for a guy to be that blatantly naive to his own shortcomings and refusing to try and get better at them, I’m glad he’s not with this version of the Cubs.

  • ferrets_bueller

    The way brenly talks about himself, you’d think he was a 72OPS+ hitter who made 4 errors in every inning of his career.

    And thats why I love the guy.

    Well, that and telling it like it is about that lazy, overrated bum who used to play 3B here….

  • rich

    All Ramirez ever cared about was his stats, he pretty must sucked in the field and yes he was lazy. Good riddance! If only Brenly was manager it would have been different. No more watching his homers fly out and that go for the invisible leftfielder who could’nt catch a fly ball .

  • mpope30

    This may not be popular on here, but I am still a huge Aramis fan. People can say what they want about him choking in the playoffs, or being “lazy”, but the team would NOT have even been in the playoffs without him. His bat carried the team through numerous stretches for multiple seasons. The only Cub jersey I own has his name and the #16 on the back. He was my favorite player on the team from the day he arrived to the day he left. I would have chosen him to be at the plate over any other player in the 9th inning of a tie game with a runner on base (even in D Lee’s huge statistical season). The Cubs had been waiting for a run producing 3rd baseman for a long time before he arrived, and now I’m worried they will be looking for a long time again. I sure hope not. I wish him the best, other than when he is playing the Cubs, of course.

    • Deer

      I agree with you Pope. A full season of Stewart/DeWitt at 3rd will make some appreciate what Ramirez did a little more.

      • CubFan Paul

        agreed. but it won’t be Dewitt because he doesnt have a roster spot. It’ll be Jeff Baker/Stewart if Stewart can’t hack it himself.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Agree, how quickly we forget how clutch Ramirez was during our playoff years. The man was an RBI machine. I woould go as far to say he is one of the best offensive third basemen of his time. When I’m not to lazy I’ll look up the stats and see if I’m right.

      • MichiganGoat

        Are you saying he was clutch during the playoffs? Someone please put up his 07/08 playoff numbers – not good. Yes he had some great seasons but during the playoffs when he suppose to be our offensive star he did not perform.

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          Nope, I did not say that.

    • Jim L.

      I agree with you too, mpope. Ramirez gets a bad rep with the “lazy” and “no hustle” tags. Mostly started by Kaplan and picked up by the meathead fans. Yeah, his offense disappeared in the 07/08 playoffs but so did every other hitter in the line-up.

  • hardtop

    i liked Aramis. he had a few injuries, which becomes common as a player ages, that limited his production a couple seasons ago. obviously there are questions of hustle and ability on defense and untimely hitting etc. but overall he was a stud for us on a team frequently devoid of studs. seems like for awhile there he was single-handedly knocking in half of the cubs runs. i would have even had him back in 2012… but at about a third of what he was getting paid. i think it would have been nice to have his bat in the lineup (for at least 3 months) but he was just too far down the spiral to pay him that kind of money. at his age, and given his recent history, he’s a bigger gamble than most prospects. Stewart is a much better bet for the money (did i just write that?)
    what’d he end up getting from Milwaukee, i cant recall?

    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

      I want to say in the 3/13 range

  • D17FUZZ

    Brenly never said he was a better player. He just said that AssRamirez didn’t hustle which he didn’t. Ask AssRam if he’d like to compare his WS ring with BB’s. I believe Bob knows how to manage and if memory serves me correctly in 2001 BB’s AZ DBacks beat the evil empire.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      We can’t argue that baseball is a team game and then ask why Ramirez doesn’t have a ring. You could say the same thing for Santo, Banks, Williams, and Sandberg.

    • Jim L.

      When you can run Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling out to the mound 4 times a series, there is not much managing needed except filling out the line-up card.

  • Stan

    I think Bob can talk about Ramirez any day he wants. I mean, he DOES have something that Ramirez doesn’t have and might not ever get. What? A ring. Yes, I went there.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Once upon a time I liked A-Ram, too. But any casual spectator last season could see that he was lazy – like he didn’t really care one way or the other if the Cubs won the game. As for Brenly, I love his candor and his straightforward attitude.

    • CubFan Paul

      yea, because .306/.361/.510 26HRs 93RBI is a sign of laziness and a lack of caring for the team. Looks more like Ramirez was the MOST prepared Cub in 2011, in my opinion not as a *casual* spectator but as a the Regular fan who watched every game

      • ferrets_bueller

        Did you actually watch the games?  Or are you just looking at his batting stats?  Because any in-depth viewing of the games leads to the same conclusion that Cubbies4life drew- he was lazy, and did not care about the team.  His batting line is only 1/3 of the picture….

        • CubFan Paul

          i watch EVERY game except for the 10 or so that are on WCIU (radio games for me, i don’t live in Chicago) so maybe that’s what you & cubbies4life are referring to

        • CubFan Paul

          i think you are confusing “lazy, and did not care about the team” with eroding defensive skills. that was Brenly’s beef with Ramirez – Defense

          brett’s link: http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/10/06/carlos-zambrano-denies-talking-to-ozzie-guillen-about-marlins-and-other-bullets/

          • aCubsfan

            LOL…Eroding defensive skills that is pretty funny.

            How can you have eroding defensive at age 25? In 2003, he had the worst fielding percentage of any 3rd baseman in the league. In 2004, at 26, his range factor of 2.26 was the lowest among all Major League third basemen. In 2006 at 28, his range factor of 2.41 was the lowest among Major League third basemen for the third straight year. In 2008, Ramirez (age 30) finished the season with the lowest range factor (2.16) of all major league third basemen.

            When you play the ball to your side, don’t move to get in front of it or don’t even attempt to get in front of the ball, that’s not eroding defensive skills. That is utter laziness.

            When you stand at the plate and watch your fly ball get caught without running. That’s utter laziness.

            When you don’t hustle down the line and a double is only a single. That is utter laziness.

            When you don’t hustle from 1st to 2nd to break up a double play and just cruise out of the base path. That’s utter laziness.

            When you don’t hit any home runs or drive in runs in the first two months of the season when the season is on the line, but you do it in the last two months of the season when the team is totally out of it. That’s being selfish.

            For the 2011 MLB All-Star game, Ramirez was asked to fill in at 3rd, but declined the invitation due to previous plans to be with his family during the break.Then at the trade deadline, he said I don’t want to be traded and will refuse being traded claiming family issues when he knew he wasn’t going to re-sign with the Cubs. That’s being selfish and arrogant.

            That describes Ramirez during his time with the Cubs, especially after they gave him the huge contract.

            Could it be that his numbers were so high in 2011 because he was trying to get that next contract? Just a thought.

            • ThereWillBeCubs

              awesome post. He was undoubtedly our most productive hitter for a long time but the weak defense, injuries, and apparent lack of effort got old. That two month slump was agonizing.

              We’ll miss his bat (maybe) but good riddance. We pay for future performance now, not overpriced aging cry babies on the decline.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I don’t read the Theo/plan stuff the same way Brett….all he said was “it’s not that easy”.
    Although its funny he says he doesn’t want to go to war, THEN fires a shot.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Brett – I got an avatar from Gravatar. How come it isn’t showing??? AARRRGGGHHH!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s showing for me. Sometimes it takes a little while to populate across the web, but I’ve been seeing your avatar for quite a while now. Anyone else?

      One to thing to check: on gravatar, is your avatar set to the lowest rating (like, “G”)?

      • CubFan Paul

        i dont see his avatar..

        edit: now its there

    • hardtop

      i see it, a kid and a blond right? got it.

  • CubFan Paul

    Ramirez’s biggest detractors were Brenly & Hollandsworth. Those two guys saw only what we saw in pregame warmups on the field & the games on tv. MANY players stood behind Ramirez and pointed out Brenly and Hollandsworth NEVER went into the clubhouse to be around the players or see how they prepared or studied. There’s not a young player that is or was on this team that said Ramirez was a bad influence/mentor. They actually said the exact opposite of Ramy.

    Why Brenly is so butthurt for Ramirez no one knows, but he should just shut up

    • King Jeff

      Brenly is the color commentator on every Cubs game. He watches the team play and practice every day of the season. It is his job to call things as he sees them. Brenly called out Ramirez for things that he, and all of the rest of us noticed Ramirez doing/not doing. There is nothing wrong with that.

      • CubFan Paul

        it may be his job, but does Brenly have to be a dick about it? that and the knock on Ramirez’s leadership skills that he has no insight in according to the players themselves

        • Eric

          Brenly was in the right. This isn’t like the Stoney/Toothpick feud.

      • AB

        Yet Brenly was a huge fan of one of the worst fundamental players on the team in Ryan Theriot.

        Its clear he had a personal beef with Ramirez.

  • Lokanna

    I liked ARam in the beginning, but when the Team was clearly out of contention, he stopped trying, and that’s when I stopped liking. The comments on BN typically take an anti-Barney slant from time to time, but that kid hustles and plays balls out, and I’ll take that ANY day over lazy, over-inflated egos with high contracts.

    As for ARam’s comments on Bob, well, I guess the old saying “The truth hurts” might apply. I really dig Brenley’s color commentary, and he’s usually spot-on. I think in the case of our previous 3B, he was dead on.

    I don’t have high hopes for making a serious run at the playoffs, but I have high hopes for seeing how this team plays for our new manager. I did NOT like the product on the field last year at all. I’m hoping to watch some fun games played by professional athletes who ‘get’ it. Here’s to hope!

    • Deer

      He stopped trying after the Cubs were out of contention? Really? I could have sworn he was one of the hottest hitters in baseball after June, when the Cubs were way out of it. I like Brenly, but his criticism was over the top. Which analysts go that far? Seemed unprofessional to me, especially towards a guy trying to get a new contract. But hey, it did wonders for Brenly’s popularity.

  • Eric S

    BB was also a catcher and Rammy was a third baseman. That’s comparing apples to cucumbers. Very few catchers (Piazza, Carter) etc put up numbers like Rammy and they’re in the hall of fame. The job of the catcher is to be average at best offensively and above average on defense (Looking at you Yadi). So, for Rammy to talk about BB like he did doesn’t make sense. The fact of the matter is Rammy doesn’t hit in April and May, doesn’t hustle, and only busts it out in a contract year. This is obvious! So when BB called him out (a former major league manager who won a world series….AND WHAT RAMMY) he was justified in doing so, because he saw that he could be a better player if he tried to be. Remember when Rammy said that he was his own hitting coach after he lead the league in strikeouts in May? What would’ve happened if he listened to Rudy J and spent more time in the cage? Not saying we would’ve won the world series, but it would’ve sent a nice message to the younger guys that he’s working to better himself.

    • aCubsfan

      Actually, Brenly played multiple positions (Catcher, 3B, LF, RF, 1B) but most of his time was behind the plate.

      Well you forget Carlton Fisk, Pudge Rodriquez, Johnny Bench, Yoggi Bera, Thurman Munson, Ted Simmons to name a few as good hitting catchers.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Thanks, guys! Yep, it’s G rated. I’m the blond, kid is my grandson, Sam. And now I see it! Yay for small victories….

  • Edwin

    I always enjoyed Ramirez. He was great at hitting, below average at baserunning, and below average at fielding. Overall, a great 3B. If I remember, he actually improved his defense in his peak years, to the point where he was only slightly below average. Then age and injuries took their toll. And he started playing bad defense. I don’t know why people expect any 34 year old 3B to be good at defense, but yeah, his age 32-34 seasons he was bad at defense. Shocker. One of the best 3B the Cubs have ever had.. Also, I always liked his interviews. He normally said what he thought, and didn’t say too many boring cliches. I have a lot of respect for Aramis.

  • rbreeze

    I enjoyed Ramirez too.  He was the best Cubs 3B since Santo.  But I wouldn’t use great to describe him.   He gets a very good from me.  He could have been great if he wanted too.  If he would have kept himself in better shape in the years here was here, he could have been a Cub for the rest of his playing days.   He did separate his shoulder a couple of years ago and that kept his numbers down but to me the lacked focus and drive.  He played when he wanted to play!!!

    • Frank

      Depending on whether or not I needed power in a lineup, I think I might take Madlock over Ramirez. Four time batting champ, lifetime BA of .305, lifetime OPS+ of 123, OBP of .365 lifetime, and even had a career high of 32 stolen bases one year. Not great defensively, but not bad either–probably on par with Ramirez or maybe slightly better. Didn’t have nearly the power numbers Ramirez has though. Would’ve liked to have seen Madlock remain a Cub.

  • http://www.joelcreese.com Joel

    That talk about a WS ring doesn’t carry a lot of weight with me. Luc Longley has three championship rings. Would you rather have him or Charles Barkley, who has none?

    In Game 6 of the 2001 World Series, the D’Backs had a 15-0 lead. And yet Brenly had Randy Johnson pitch for SEVEN innings, despite knowing him he was likely going to use him the next night. If Mariano Rivera, arguably the greatest closer of all time, does what he does about 90% of the time, we’re talking about Brenly being one of the biggest WS chokers.

    Meanwhile, Ramirez hurt his shoulder diving for a grounder. Is that the sign of a player who didn’t care? Pretty hard to argue with his numbers, too.

    Yes, he didn’t always run out of the batter’s box, and that drove me crazy. He wasn’t perfect. But he put up some great numbers and was the best 3rd baseman the Cubs have had in ages.

    • njriv

      He did put up great numbers, but what got me mad is that he was stubborn and did not think about the organization that has been paying him since 2003 and refused to get traded last summer, he was the hottest hitter on the block. The Cubs could have gotten a pretty decent return for him, but since he refused to get traded and signed to the Brewers in free agency we got nothing and now he is in our own division.

      • http://www.joelcreese.com Joel

        That’s a fair point. I’m not saying I’m a huge fan, but I don’t think he deserves half of the anger he gets.

      • Edwin

        Why is he a jerk for refusing to be traded? If a player has a no-trade clause, I can’t fault a player for using it.

        • Deer

          Funny how he’s labeled a jerk for using the no-trade but most disregard he took a discount on an extension during the prime of his career to stay in Chicago.

          • njriv

            He knew he was not going to comeback, but still refused a trade to go to a contending team. Imagine what the Cubs could have gotten back, he was only the hottest hitter on the market.

            • CubFan Paul

              NO trades were worked out for Any Cubs player in 2011 because Hendry was Fired before the trade deadline and COULDN’T trade anyone.

              Ramirez rejected trade ideas the media brought to his locker. Jim Hendry, Randy Bush nor Tom Ricketts went to Ramirez about a trade in 2011. Hendry “preserved” the team for the next GM (or more likely Ricketts didn’t trust him or want him to make any more moves except signing the June Draftees)

            • Edwin

              I imagine they could have gotten some nice pieces. But it probably doesn’t matter much to Aramis what the Cubs get back for him, nor should it. Ramirez shouldn’t go to a team that he doesn’t want to go to, just to try and help the Cubs. That makes no sense.

              • njriv

                Well the Cubs would have sent him to a contending team and if he knew he was not coming back why not help out the Cubs? He had been only playing for them for only 9 seasons.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I love the complaints about how Ramirez was nowhere to be found in the playoffs.
    Did 2003 not happen or something?
    Let’s curse him because of 25 bad plate app’s!!!
    That Ted Williams was a bum because he sucked in the playoffs!

  • Edwin

    I don’t understand the critiscism of Ramirez not “playing to his full potential”, or not “getting the most out of his talent”. What does that even mean? Who actually knows what his full potential is? Why don’t we do this for other players? Samardzjia and Volstad have lots of talent, why isn’t anyone calling them out for being lazy and not working hard enough? Kerry Wood had one of the best arms I’ve ever seen, yet he really hasn’t had that great of a career. Did Bob Brenly ever call him out for not reaching his true potential?

    If you feel that somehow Aramis Ramirez was selfish and deliberately only hit the ball when he thought it would least help the team, fine, I guess. If you think his poor baserunning and bad fielding hurt the team more than his bat helped it, that’s fine too. Ramirez definetly wasn’t a 5 tool player. But critizing a player for not living up to your own imagingary potential for that player is just goofy.

  • Eric

    I can’t remember is OPS+ position dependent? If so, being a league average hitting catcher is probably much worse than league average for 3rd.

    Also, Bob Brenly won a world series with D-Backs and I have never heard people knock his baseball knowledge, so if he wants to critique players, I for one, will listen.

  • MaxM1908

    I finally got around to watching “Catching Hell” two nights ago. Not only did it make me embarrassed as a cubs fan in the way the city scapegoated Bartman, but one comment in particular made me lose a lot of respect for Ramirez. I haven’t been a fan of Alou ever since he threw that hissy-fit after the Bartman play. It was immature and shifted the fans’ wrath away from where it most rightly belonged: on a team and manager who couldn’t keep it together at the most critical moment. But, I lost even more respect for Alou (and Ramirez by association) in the interview for the documentary. He was arrogant, and demonstrated no remorse for ruining a Cubs fan’s life. Further, when he said that he and Ramirez booked flights home after Game 6–anticipating a loss in Game 7–I know where to place all blame for the 2003 debacle. I think that episode, assuming it actually happened as Alou reported, is a perfect metaphor for Ramirez. He lacked the heart to play at the next level. He was an extremely talented player who was an asset to the Cubs, no doubt. But, I will never set him alongside Ron Santo. If Ramirez, Alou, and the rest of the 2003 Cubs had played with half the heart of Ron Santo, the Cubs would have surely overcome a little fan interference on ONE foul ball. And, if they couldn’t come away with a win in Game 6, they surely would have come out the next night with fire and passion to seal the deal in Game 7.

    • Deer

      If you want to assign blame, give it to Kerry Wood for Game 7.

      • King Jeff

        Or Alex Gonzalez, among others. That was definitely a team collapse, no way it’s just on Alou and Ramirez.

        • MaxM1908

          I’m not saying it wasn’t a team collapse. But, even as a team, if two of your star players put up a white flag with one game to go, it has to have a negative impact on morale. I’m saying that their attitude going into Game 7 speaks volumes about their characters and worth as players. I’m using that anecdote to say why I don’t think Ramirez deserves to be mentioned alongside Ron Santo. If Alou doesn’t throw a hissy fit after the foul ball, maybe A. Gonzales’ mind is in a better position to make that double play. If they both don’t book their flights home and instead pump up the team with confidence, maybe everyone plays better in Game 7. We’ll never know, but based on that information about their defeatist attitudes, I’ll never highly praise ARam as anything more than a decent 3rd baseman for the Cubs.

          • Joe

            I don’t know if your evidence ultimately has anything to do with the collapse, but I totally totally agree that it reflects poorly on Aram’s character. I’d hate it if this was me seeing what I’m looking for, but dammit, I never wanted to see laziness and give-up in the guy!

        • MaxM1908

          And since it probably wasn’t clear from my earlier comment, by “all blame” I mean on the players and management, not on a fan who did what any other fan would have.

    • aCubsfan

      While agree with most of what you have said, you can’t have fan interference when the ball is in foul territory which it was. When the ball is in foul territory the player just has to beat the fan to the ball and make the play. Alou didn’t do that.

      Yes, it is quite telling that Ramirez and Alou had flights booked for home. It said their heart wasn’t it in and they quit.

  • czechxican

    I remember when he came into camp in 2008 noticably slimmer because he said he “wanted to increase his bat speed”. He had a great year (like it seemed every other Cub did that year) then the shoulder dive in 09, then ham, quad, rib, etc happened. Coincidence? Anything he didn’t tell us?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Bottom line is the guy is an egomaniac. We will see big improvement in Castro this year just because he is not playing next to this overated prima donna. Changing the culture is what Theo is doing, and Aramis you are one of the first to go.

    • Nathan

      I will agree with the culture change, Ramirez was getting too old and wasnt the same player he used to be. I do think he was a great Cub for the majority of his tenure though. But it was time for a change of scenery for both sides

    • Patrick

      I didnt see Armis as a “prima donna or egomanic” If you feel the need to bash a solid contributor for the cubs past 7 seasons- than maybe stick to lazy and lack of intensity. Egomanic-really?? who have you been watching?

      • CubFan Paul

        that’s the problem: Half the Ramirez bashers don’t watch the games or know the facts. The guy is getting slow with old age (out of his Prime) and all of a sudden he’s lazy because of a lack of range

        • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

          Ya, amazing how noone thought poorly of Ramirez in 2008 when he was mashing or in 2009 when we realized how much we needed him when he was out.

        • King Jeff

          I know he’s lost a step of range due to injury. That doesn’t excuse not running out groundballs, not diving after linedrives down the line, and playing ole’ defense, all of which I’ve witnessed personally, and it started well before the shoulder injury.

  • Kyle

    Brenly wanted to up his tough-guy, old-school cred with fans to try to take a run at the manager’s job when it came open.

    He knew that no white announcer ever got on the wrong side of fans by ripping a Hispanic player.

    • daveyrosello

      What a lame post. How about you bring out the “all Cubs fans are racists” post next? Tool.

      • Kyle

        Of course not all Cubs fans are racist. There’s no one trait that would describe all Cubs fans.

        However, I would say that a large percentage of Cubs fans and the Chicago media frequently (though not always) default to racial stereotypes when describing players.

        White guys play the game the right way, Hispanic players are lazy and/or hotheaded.

        Ooh, let’s do Santo vs. Zambrano again :) It’s still a month before anything interesting happens, we’ve got the time…

        • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

          And in 50 years we may look back very fondly on Zambrano or Ramirez, or you could just continue to passively-agressively call people racist.

          Zambrano isn’t called a hot-head because he is hispanic, he is called a hot-head because he is a hot-head. I don’t see anyone calling Starlin Castro a lazy hot-head, even though he is Hispanic.

          • Kyle

            Ramirez wasn’t a hothead either.

            Hispanic players get a choice: Lazy or hotheaded. Sometimes both.

            But they rarely, if ever, “play the game the right way.” Uncanny.

            It’s not “passive-aggressive” at all. I’m flat-out saying that people are flat-out wrong about many ballplayers because they (well, sometimes they get it indirectly from the media) use racially tinged stereotypes when evaluating ballplayers.

    • CubFan Paul

      POW. Excellent point

    • Frank

      Yeah–what’s with the “white announcer” thing? Besides, credibility with fans has nothing to do with an organization’s managerial choice unless they’re looking for a big name to drive attendance.

      • Kyle

        And at the time, Brenly was hoping that the new management would do just that. He didn’t know at the time that we’d be getting Epstein.

    • ferrets_bueller

      What a moron.

  • Nathan

    So soon do people forget how good Ramirez was! When they first got him from the Pirates he was an underachiever who was bad on defense. What he did for the Cubs in his tenure was great. He was known as one of the clutches hitters in baseball in his prime and even started playing very good on D as well. Yes, he declined a little the past couple of years and didnt always hustle, but he was consistently 25+ homers 100+ rbis and often hit over .300! The year he went down after his great first half started the decline of Ramirez and he was never the same player! No one complained about Ramirez in his prime, NO ONE!

    • Joe

      He did great — I think most of us complaining feel he could have been better. We saw him swing, or stretch, or run, and we could FEEL like he was holding something back. And when he got called out, missed the ball, or got tagged out running, he rarely got upset, rarely seemed to take it as a lesson. Sure, I saw him throw down his helmet in anger before — but usually because the ump called him out, not because he was mad at himself. Was he anything as bad as, say, Milton Bradley? OH NO. He didn’t waste his talent nearly as much. But waste his talent he did, even if it was by performing at 80% instead of 100% or the fabled 110%. That’s what drove me nuts, anyway.

  • Mick

    Ramirez was one of my favorite Cubs. The guy completely turned around our 3B position from the crap that came before him into arguably our most productive position. If regularly hitting .300, 30 HRs, 100 RBI is lazy then I don’t ever want to be a hard worker. I love reminiscing about former players and Ramirez is one of those guys. Remember those lineups with him, Alou, and Sosa? Wow, that was fun to watch. Alou is another Cub that, IMO, doesn’t get the credit he deserves, that guy was as clutch as they came.

    The whole thing with Brenly is just sour grapes. Brenly only televised games near the end of Ramirez’s Cubs career where the injury bug creeped in. Of course a player coming off of multiple injuries isn’t going to be the team’s biggest hustler. If we want a fair perspective of Ramirez we should ask Chip Carey not Bob Brenly.