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Friday, August 12, 2011

Hollandsworth rips Ramirez for lack of effort

I believe it was French tragedian turned Chicago tragedian, Juan Pierre Corneille, that said…“The greater the baseball effort, the greater the baseball glory.”

Todd Hollandsworth, who played in two seasons (2004-05) with the Cubs as part of a 12-year major-league career, serves as a Cubs studio analyst for Comcast SportsNet. Despite Ramirez’s improving statistics (.287 average, 21 homers, 71 RBIs), Hollandsworth took the veteran third baseman to task Friday for failing to be a positive influence on the team.

“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,” Hollandsworth told “The McNeil and Spiegel Show” on WSCR-AM 670.

“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.”

...“It’s going to be another 100 years before this team wins another (World Series) if they continue to let the inmates run it,” Hollandsworth said.

Repoz Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:11 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, cubs, fantasy baseball, history, media

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:29 PM (#3898848)
Ramirez, in turn, ripped Hollandsworth for having none of whatever it is that makes people non-shitty ballplayers.
   2. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#3898853)
Based on the article, it seems like Hollandsworth's criticism merely boils down to the fact that the young guys aren't improving and that's the fault of Ramirez because he's a veteran who makes a lot of money.

Let's ask Todd about how his mentoring of Matt Murton and Jason Dubois worked out :)
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#3898855)
It's too bad we a challege trade wouldn't work out - Cubs and Marlins swapping effort-deficient Ramirezeseses.

(When I saw the headline, I assumed he was just piling on Hanley).
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#3898861)
(When I saw the headline, I did assume he was just piling on Hanley).

Funny, I assumed he was airing some old grievance about Manny (no idea if they actually played together). Even after reading the excerpt, I had to think for a few minutes about which Ramirez he was talking about.
   5. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3898863)
“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,” Hollandsworth told “The McNeil and Spiegel Show” on WSCR-AM 670.

So--Ramirez is being paid for Alfonso Soriano to not suck?
   6. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#3898864)
I couldn't tell if it was Hanley or Manny, but Aramis never crossed my mind.
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3898866)
Ramirez, in turn, ripped Hollandsworth for having none of whatever it is that makes people non-shitty ballplayers.

Speaking of which, my next-door neighbor called me all excited early one morning a couple summers ago to tell me he'd hit a triple off Todd Hollandsworth in his south side baseball league the night before. "THE Todd Hollandsworth?," I asked. "Yup," he said.
   8. Shock Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3898867)
I even thought of Alexei before I thought of Aramis. Strange.

Sidenote: Hollandsworth only played 2 seasons with the Cubs? I absolutely think of him as a Cubs lifer. Weird.
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#3898869)
Let's ask Todd about how his mentoring of Matt Murton and Jason Dubois worked out :)

The Cubs didn't pay Hollandsworth nearly enough for Jason Dubois to ever turn into anything.
   10. Transmission Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#3898870)
Similarly, it is Pat Hughes's, Keith Moreland's and Bob Brenly's fault that Hollandsworth remains below replacement-level value as a sports "analyst."
   11. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#3898871)
Sidenote: Hollandsworth only played 2 seasons with the Cubs? I absolutely think of him as a Cubs lifer. Weird.

So what you're saying is, you don't remember exactly where you were and what you were doing that glorious fall day in '96 when it was announced he'd won his ROY award with the Dodgers.
   12. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#3898873)
Hell, not only was he not a Cub lifer, he was a feckin' 2003 Marlin.
   13. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:57 PM (#3898874)
I couldn't tell if it was Hanley or Manny, but Aramis never crossed my mind.

I even thought of Alexei before I thought of Aramis.


Or Richard. Hollandsworth says he could've been a regular Ted Bundy if he'd wanted it bad enough.
   14. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:57 PM (#3898876)
So what you're saying is, you don't remember exactly where you were and what you were doing that glorious fall day in '96 when it was announced he'd won his ROY award with the Dodgers.


Hollandsworth's election was what finally knocked the Clinton-Dole election off the front page. That was when front pages existed.
   15. BWV 1129 Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#3898877)
“It’s going to be another 100 years before this team wins another (World Series) if they continue to let the inmates run it,” Hollandsworth said.

This is clearly false; they won't win one even then.
   16. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#3898878)
“It’s going to be another 100 years before this team wins another (World Series) if they continue to let the inmates run it,” Hollandsworth said.

This is clearly false; they won't win one even then.


That's the last year of Soriano's contract, so they could be good.
   17. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#3898879)
Hollandsworth's election was what finally knocked the Clinton-Dole election off the front page.

In fairness, that was a pretty boring campaign. The Todd Hollandsworth ROY Award of presidential campaigns, if you will.
   18. Brian C Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:14 PM (#3898887)
I knew it was Aramis right away, because Hollandsworth is a Cubs analyst and Aramis plays for the Cubs.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that the Cubs don't really want to bring Aramis back, and have been bad-mouthing him behind the scenes.
   19. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:14 PM (#3898888)
I thought the rip-the-best-player-on-a-bad-team thing wouldn't apply as much for a former player. Guess not.
   20. flournoy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:14 PM (#3898889)
I'm having a hard time processing the notion of Todd Hollandsworth, Cubs lifer. That sounds like Steve Trachsel, Blue Jays lifer.
   21. Shock Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#3898892)
For some reason it's just how I thought of him. The notion of Todd Hollandsworth, Neifi Perez and Jose Macias as Cubs is seared into my mind.
   22. Spahn Insane Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#3898898)
Anyway, my takeaway from this is that the Cubs don't really want to bring Aramis back, and have been bad-mouthing him behind the scenes.

But he's already refused a trade--they should spend their usual trade-value-destroying efforts on someone who's not a lost cause!
   23. Brian C Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM (#3898901)
But he's already refused a trade--they should spend their usual trade-value-destroying efforts on someone who's not a lost cause!

Lost cause? You're so defeatist - there's still plenty of time to dump him for nothing in a waiver deal.
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#3898912)
I'm having a hard time processing the notion of Todd Hollandsworth, Cubs lifer. That sounds like Steve Trachsel, Blue Jays lifer.

Or more relevant to this situation, Mark Grace, Diamondbacks lifer.
   25. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3898915)
A lot of people don't realize it, but Omar Vizquel played for other teams before he came to the White Sox. Another little-known fact: Adam Dunn used to play baseball.
   26. Shock Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3898917)
Another little-known fact: Adam Dunn used to play baseball.


Against his will, of course.
   27. jwb Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:40 PM (#3898932)
Hollandsworth only played 2 seasons with the Cubs? I absolutely think of him as a Cubs lifer. Weird.
It did seem like forever.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:53 PM (#3898937)
So the young players haven't improved -- fault of the players.
Players have poor fundamentals -- fault of the players.
Too many overpaid, underperforming vets -- fault of the players.

Now if this sort of thing had been going on for only this season, you could see that. But I've been reading these articles about the Cubs for my entire life. At some point, the writers might want to try to hold the front office, manager and coaches responsible. Granted, they do so once every 3-4 years or so once they've run out of good players to blame.

And can we please get over this notion that Darwin Barney is some baseball talent. He's 25, has never hit and is about an average fielder -- nice, cheap bench fodder but nothing more.

I will note that, in a strange way, this article may represent progress. Castro currently leads the NL in hits. When I was a kid, that would have been a huge story in Chicago and nobody would be talking about how he hasn't improved -- leading the league in hits at 21? Superstar!

By the way, near as I can tell, only 2 players 21 or younger have led their league in hits -- Cobb (at 20 and 21) and Kaline (at 20). Castro is quite unlikely to catch Waner's 223. Among recent SS, AROD's 215 is probably out of reach but Templeton's 200 (1977) could easily fall.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#3898939)
Sidenote: Hollandsworth only played 2 seasons with the Cubs? I absolutely think of him as a Cubs lifer. Weird.

I think you're confusing him with John Mabry. :-)
   30. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 13, 2011 at 12:03 AM (#3898945)
By the way, near as I can tell, only 2 players 21 or younger have led their league in hits


You forgot Cal McVey, but most people do.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3898946)
You forgot Cal McVey, but most people do.

You can't forget what you never knew.

I will now proceed to forget Cal McVey.
   32. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 13, 2011 at 12:39 AM (#3898958)
I too thought this was another pile-on article about Hanley.

Did Hollandsworth also take Carlos Zambrano to task for the team's pitching woe's since he's making like a billion dollars a year and now sports an ERA nearing 5?
   33. Tripon Posted: August 13, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#3898967)
Somebody thought Todd Hollandsworth had talent, since he won the Rookie of the Year NL version in 1996.
   34. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#3898988)
Somebody thought Todd Hollandsworth had talent, since he won the Rookie of the Year NL version in 1996.

In defense of the voters that year, there wasn't a super-obvious alternative. Renteria probably would look a lot better in retrospect but it's not like he lit the league on fire that year. Hollandsworth put up pretty decent offensive numbers in LA, which is not unimpressive. It just happened to be the best year he'd have in the majors - no reason the voters should have seen that coming.
   35. JH (in DC) Posted: August 13, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#3898989)
I like Todd Hollandsworth. He hits home runs for the Cubs.
   36. joeysdadjoe Posted: August 13, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3898994)
I think of him as a Dodger. ROY row with Piazza, Karros, Nomo etc.
   37. Bob Tufts Posted: August 13, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#3898999)
I'm confused - Aramis Ramirez should be more vocal and active but the inmates are running the asylum?
   38. Tripon Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:00 AM (#3899003)

I'm confused - Aramis Ramirez should be more vocal and active but the inmates are running the asylum?


Highest paid player is the coach on the field. Which makes me wonder why Soriano is getting a pass here. Also, why have coaches in the first place.
   39. Comic Strip Person Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:07 AM (#3899010)
In what reality has Starlin Castro not improved, at least a little bit, this year? The guy who is hitting better this year, with increasing power? The guy who is cutting down on his fielding errors, and getting to more balls? The guy who's only 21?
   40. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:16 AM (#3899020)
In what reality has Starlin Castro not improved, at least a little bit, this year?


We're living a reality in which Todd Hollandsworth is paid to have a camera pointed at his head for his expertise.
   41. Ron J Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#3899026)
#39 OK, but what about Tyler Colvin? Clearly if Ramirez was more vocal and active Colvin would have turned into the kind of player you expect with an OBP of .318 in nearly 1200 plate appearances at AA.
   42. Comic Strip Person Posted: August 13, 2011 at 04:02 AM (#3899107)
#41 - I stand corrected. Ramirez should be forced to retire with Zambrano.

Todd Hollandsworth is the Mike Quade of analysts.
   43. SteveM. Posted: August 13, 2011 at 04:06 AM (#3899115)
Aramis does lollygag running to first a lot. On the other hand, when he is on, he is the Cubs best power hitter.
   44. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2011 at 05:12 AM (#3899150)
While we're reminiscing about Hollandsworth hitting homeruns for the Cubs, I was at this Atlanta game. Drove from Dallas to Atlanta that day, then the game went 15 innings while the Cubbies blew scoring chance after scoring chance. If they wouldn't have won, I don't think I would have wanted to go on with life.

So I do credit Hollandsworth for that. You know, as far as it goes.
   45. Anonymous Observer Posted: August 13, 2011 at 05:58 AM (#3899155)
Aramis does lollygag running to first a lot.


Does he lollygag the ball around the infield?
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM (#3899172)
In defense of the voters that year, there wasn't a super-obvious alternative.


Both Kendall and Renteria were obviously better, once you got outside of the LA hype machine.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM (#3899180)
Both Kendall and Renteria were obviously better, once you got outside of the LA hype machine.

Actually WAR gives the nod easily to FP Santangelo at 3.7 WAR in just 437 PA. Renteria is second at 3. Kendall clomps home at a mere 1.8 and Hollandsworth at 1.3. WAR even likes Alex Ochoa and Marvin Benard better than Todd (and Kendall).
   48. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3899276)
Both Kendall and Renteria were obviously better, once you got outside of the LA hype machine.

They probably were better, but you need to get to defensive adjustments to get there. And since basically no one thinks that single-season defensive numbers are worth the bits they're stored on, I'm not sure how "obvious" that choice really is. There's room for argument, sure, but I don't think the Hollandsworth choice is at all ridiculous. If he would have gone on to play consistently at his 1996 level no one would remember it as a poor choice.
   49. Ron J Posted: August 13, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3899286)
#48 The defensive numbers are at least good enough that they need to be argued against. Now multi-position players are always kind of problematic, but when you break it down it's primarily good CF, excellent LF (that doesn't seem too controversial to me, F. P. was a pretty good outfielder before injuries started to slow him down) who was at least OK when pressed into service at third and played too little at short and second to tell you anything. Brownie points for versatility also seems in order.

WAR hates Hollandsworth's defense. I don't think it would be controversial to say say that he was not well regarded as a defensive player, and that the evidence generally backs up this view.

So what we have are two players who are of generally equal value at the plate. (Yeah Santangelo's OBP edge is undervalued in OPS+. It's still no biggie) One played a little more. The other played a more demanding position and played it well (and filled in well at other positions when required)

Retneria gains not so much from fielding runs as fielding runs plus positional adjustment. You've got a below average (defensively) left fielder with a small offensive (and playing time) edge over a good defensive shortstop (again, there is nothing that seems controversial in those assessments).
   50. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3899327)
#49, I don't disagree with any of that, and I agree with you and others that Hollandsworth was probably not the best choice. But there's a difference between a persuasive argument and an obvious truth, and I just don't think that Hollandsworth was an obviously poor choice. People have a tendency to think of their own beliefs as obvious and that's what I was pushing back against.

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