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Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth slams Aramis Ramirez

Aug 12, 2011, 3:35 PM EDT

Aramis Ramirez AP

Whether’s it’s Manny, Hanley, Ramon or now Aramis, slamming a Ramirez is simply the in thing to do in baseball these days.

Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth, who works in the studio for Comcast Sportsnet, decided to take on Aramis Ramirez on “The McNeil and Spiegel Show” this morning.  The Chicago Tribune has the quotes:

When you’ve got your best player — 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 your 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.

How much better are they supposed to get, Todd?  Barney has performed better as a rookie than his minor league numbers suggested he would.   Castro made the All-Star team as a 21-year-old sophomore.  If Hollandsworth is saying that they haven’t gotten any better from April through August, then maybe he has a point.  But who makes judgments based on such things?

Ramirez has taken more than his fair share of criticism this year.  He got off to a terrible start, he opted out after being asked to the All-Star Game as a last-minute replacement and he decided to use his no-trade clause rather than accept a trade that might help the Cubs in 2012 and beyond.

Yet, here he is in mid-August with 21 homers and 71 RBI.  In a year in which pretty much every NL third baseman has gotten hurt, he’s played in 110 games and posted an .830 OPS.  The only third basemen with higher OPSs are Pablo Sandoval, Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez, and two of those guys have missed big chunks of the season.

Maybe Ramirez could be a bigger influence in the clubhouse, but the Cubs knew exactly what kind of person he was when they re-signed him after the 2006 season.  It was the second big contract they gave him, and he’s lived up to it with his play on the field.  To suggest that he’s the problem just doesn’t make any sense at all.

  1. illcomm - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    the phils will take him…if u pay all of this years salary and the 2 Mil buyout for next year

    • hittfamily - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      Are there any threads that don’t somehow come around to involve the Phils?

      • wlschneider09 - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:37 PM

        It’s the Phillies world, we just live in it…

  2. thefalcon123 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    “…and you can’t seem to have a positive effect on the guys around you in your clubhouse, getting them to step up or play to a different level, it’s just hard for me to swallow,”

    I thought that’s why teams have a manager, pitching coach, hitting coach, bullpen coach, 1st base coach, 3rd base coach and a bench coach.

    • 78mu - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:31 PM

      If only Ramirez were one of those scrappy white guys with 2 HRs and a 251 OBP that runs hard on his 8th straight ground ball to 2nd I bet Hollandsworth would be talking about he’s a coach on the field showing the rest of the team how to play the game right. He’d 470 OPS guy instead of the usual 810 OPS Ramirez is but at least Hollandsworth would be happy.

  3. riverace19 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Hollandsworth = TOOL
    Lots of blame to go around for the futile Cubs but Ramirez is the wrong place.
    Yeah he goes to work, gets the job done, withtout a lot of Rah Rah stuff but we will leave that to the Fanboy Owner.
    He’s also in line for a gold glove this season.

  4. jimbo1949 - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    you can’t spell analyst without the word anal.

  5. cur68 - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Wow, man. Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth, you got some ‘splainin’ todo! Talk about a load of unsupportable crapola: what is with these guys and their expectations? There are PLENTY of guys on the Cubs that this could be said of. Excepting for the good season NO ONE else on that team is showing a shred of leadership either. Fact is that Aramis Ramirez is having a good season. All the rest are pretty much doing nothing, coaches included (arguably). Why start calling out your best player? With a dozen other people with worse numbers to choose from, you go with the best guy in the team? He can’t go out and hit for them. He sets an example and plays well. Sure he could grab some pom-poms and learn to do the jump splits, but that isn’t who the kid is. I’d way rather heave Aramis Ramirez than Logan Morrison; the guy who Hollandsworth seems to wish he was. Since LoMo is all mouth and no bat or glove I can’t see why ANYONE wants this on a team.

    Yup. Todd Holandsworth, you are a tool.

  6. Walk - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I have watched aramis play for years. He is not on my hometown team but he is one i make a point to watch. When i hear the words “pro hitter” he is one of the first that comes to mind. Hollandsworth critique though seems to stem from the percieved lack of making others around him better. Let aramis go down to injury or sit a few games then see what happens. I promise you the rest of the cubs are going to get less pitches to hit and will do worse as a result. It seems to me aramis is getting slammed for staying healthy and being a consistant influence on the lineup instead of being injured and coming back and making waves that way.

  7. normb11 - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    He’s a statues at 3B and he watches the ball instead of speeding down the line…this is why analysts question him. He’s still one of the best hitting third basemen and I have a feeling he’ll be back for 2012.

  8. Walk - Aug 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Thank you normb11 i misread the critique somewhat. When hollandsworth was talking about making other players better that is something that is usually said about a teams best players and their effect on the batting order. I only get to see aramis play as a visiting player but he certaintly gets my attention at the plate. I will watch him a bit closer on defense now when he comes to town this week, he has come a long way from the young fellow i saw play for the pirates though. Though i always liked him i was also surprised at the errors he made and that is something he has always had some issues with.

  9. rickditka - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I will say it again, Ramirez would not waive his no trade clause because the last thing he wants is to be expected to play hard and play well. All kinds of talent, zero motivation.

    • seattlej - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:53 AM

      I hate comments like these when they come from uninformed fans that obviously don’t know all of the information. Obviously Kuroda’s just a slacker as well…

      The players and their agents bargain for no trade clauses in contract negotiations. In exchange, they generally take less salary. So, the team basically paid the guy less money over the life of the contract in exchange for the no trade clause. Then they go and ask him to give it up. For what? Why would he do that if Chicago is where he wants to be? Does he have a family? Is his family/personal situation important to him? Did they offer him compensation for doing so? How much? If they did, it obviously wasn’t enough. There is absolutely no way that you have enough information to make any kind of informed statement on this topic unless you work in the Cubbies front office and hang out with Aramis on his off days. I’m guessing you don’t. I, for one, don’t blame the player in this kind of situation one tiny bit. It’s the team’s fault for include these idiotic clauses to begin with. Yes, he makes a lot of money, but you know who else does? Ownership. If they really wanted him to waive the no trade clause, then they should have ponied up a few extra bucks — there’s a cost of doing business, and obviously the Cubbies didn’t wnat to pay it.

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