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.)

  • Matt

    One thing I will never forget is in that recent ESPN documentary when I found out that Alou and Ramirez bought their plane tickets home after game 6 of the NLCS. That, to me, is inexcusable.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Happens all the time.

  • MightyBear

    I’m not defending Brenly but it’s much harder to put up offensive numbers donning the tools of ignorance than at third base, so it’s not apples to apples.

  • mpope30

    I hate it when people say the Aramis was only good once the game was already over and he just padded his stats. ABSOLUTELY not true. Here is a link to his career “clutch” stats on the baseball reference site. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=ramirar01&year=Career&t=b#clutc Also, I would rather pay to see someone hit around.300 and finish with 20-30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s than I would pay to watch someone hustle out a grounder to second every at bat……. Just sayin

  • Brian Peters

    Aramis is a crooked male organ.

  • Troy

    Wow some of you guys are some serious haters. Ramirez did pretty darn good with the Cubs. He didn’t run out every grounder, big deal. There are not a lot of people that do. Some of you Cubs fans will never be happy. If the Cubs win the world series you will be mad they didn’t sweep whomever they played.

    I really need to stop reading the comments because you fans p*ss me off.

    • TWC

      “I really need to stop reading the comments because you fans p*ss me off.”

      Some Cubs fans will never be happy — with other fans.

      The Ramirez thing has been bandied about here for the better part of a year, and the sides are pretty well entrenched.  But if you only want to hear opinions you agree with, find a bombastic talk radio host that suits you and never change the dial.  This ain’t the place.

  • DocWimsey

    Brenly is all about style over substance. Listening to him talk about baseball is like being in a fine bakery eating a wonderful cake with perfect frosting and listening to someone diss the cake the decorations were not what he wanted, and then listening to him praise a piece of stale cake with store-bought frosting because it had a great picture of Thomas the Tank engine on it…..

  • ty

    Doc–cancel my appointment? Bren is not a baker–he is a world series winning manager and considering the crap he had to watch last season –stayed pretty calm.

    • DocWimsey

      Yes, there was a lot of crap last year. No, Brenly never accurately described why there was crap. It wasn’t the base running. It wasn’t the “hustle.” It was getting badly out-homered, badly out-walked, and giving up the 5th most first inning runs in MLB. When I hear Brenly talking about that, then I’ll take him a bit more seriously.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        Wow Doc. Normally you offer a lot of insight, but I think you’re totally missing the mark here. We all know you come from a stats background and found some correlation with homers, walks, and winning. That you aren’t too big on defense and “hustle,” however that’s defined. But because Brenly hasn’t obsessed about the same metrics as you during his color comments means that you can’t take him seriously?

        Really?! The guy played professional baseball in the Bigs for nearly a decade. He managed a team to a WS title. The Yankees are stacked and they don’t win every year. The games aren’t played on paper.

        Ice cream sales and murders are highly correlated. Do you think that eating ice cream causes people to murder each other?

        • ferrets_bueller

          I have to agree, Brenly is one of the best in the business.  Its not like he’s Steve Stone.

  • ty

    Doc–youscrewed up my girl friends breast augmentation and now you are messing with Bren.

    • Reality Check


  • die hard

    He had his moments of glory but seemed they were fewer and fewer early in the season due to weather or whatever. Playing inside for Milwaukee should help him. He also played decent defense early on. Age caught up to him, thats all. A few more good years and he will get consideration for the hall of fame.

  • http://bleachernation Cub- Fan-Missouri

    He was a one tool player period

  • Chris

    Last time I checked Brenly has won a World Series and Ramirez hasn’t and hes absolutely right that Ramirez is a lazy player that could have been much better than he is. I’m happy he’s gone and hope he gets booed his first trip back to Wrigley

  • crazytrain

    Snap- Brett once again I read your fluff article and your zombies no doubtfully will fall and kiss your feet in compliance with your lawyer/man crush that you have on Theo Epstein..Ramirez was a decent CuB. He has the right to express his opinion . The CuBs did very well – they won -they went to the playoffs-and they did it on a cobination of free agents and quality cub prospects.. This was a wasted article, you are are very good writer and compassionate Cub fan. Write about the cubs future and how Theo will bring a World Series to Cub kingdom. Tell us how this one man will shape the Cubs and bring dominance to Wrigley Field. Tell us how every deal is an inside trick to landing the gems that the baseball world over looked. Tell us about rebuilding – tell us how Theo double talk will bring the Cub faithful into the stands . Better yet, write about how Theo hard work has enable Cub fans too still have the opportunity too get Cubs and White Sox tickets for it May series.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for reading once again!