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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aramis Ramirez’s agent lashes out at Bob Brenly

Give it to a skidder!

Paul Kinzer, the agent for third baseman Aramis Ramirez, today lashed out at TV analyst Bob Brenly, who called Ramirez a “numbers gatherer” last month on a local radio show.

Ramirez is a free agent, and he won’t be back with the Cubs, but Kinzer said there was no problem between Ramirez and the Cubs. Brenly, who often criticized Ramirez during telecasts, made his radio comments on WMVP in Chicago.

“For a broadcaster to come out and say that, I think it was very low class, especially when a guy’s a free agent,” Kinzer said Monday afternoon as the GM meetings got set to kick off. “I mean, we didn’t come out and say a word about it, but that bothered Aramis, and it bothered me a lot, because if he (Brenly) has something to say to him, he should have just (come) and said it to his face when he was a Cub, not when he hits free agency and then come out like that.

“You can talk to Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella and Dusty Baker, and if this guy wasn’t a producer, and if he was as bad as what he (Brenly) said and not a clutch hitter, they don’t give Silver Sluggers out to punch-and-judy hitters. I don’t know why, if there was a personal attack or what, but if he had a personal problem with him, he should have come to Aramis or I instead of trying to destroy him in the media. Aramis isn’t that type of guy. That bothered me a lot.”

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 12:41 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, cubs, media, sabermetrics

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   1. SteveM. Posted: November 15, 2011 at 01:35 AM (#3993641)
How dare Bob Brenly speak the truth on the air! Doesn't he know Aramis has to feed a family?
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 15, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3993651)
What was the context of Brenly's comments? I watched my share of Cubs games over the years and only heard Brenly be critical of Ramirez when he did something stupid like loaf around on the bases.

I never really got the impression that Aramis was a me-first kind of guy, but his laziness at times was grating to watch. Kasper and Brenly have only noted that laziness when it was almost unavoidable.
   3. SteveM. Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:12 AM (#3993679)
I am not sure his agent appreciated the truth on the loafing. But I never appreciated Aramis never running hard down the line either.
   4. A triple short of the cycle Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3993682)
Isn't "gathering numbers" a good thing?
   5. a bebop a rebop Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:30 AM (#3993691)
I am not sure his agent appreciated the truth on the loafing. But I never appreciated Aramis never running hard down the line either.

The article doesn't include the full comment, so I don't know the context... but "numbers gatherer" and loafer aren't the same thing.
   6. Darren Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3993694)
It does seem to be a tough position to be in for Ramirez to have a Cubs employee trashing him.
   7. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:40 AM (#3993699)
What effect could Brenly's opinion, or the broadcasting of it however far, possibly have on Ramirez's prospects? Nobody with the Cubs or any other organization is going to have its opinion of Ramirez , whether it wants Ramirez, or how much it wants Ramirez in terms of years and money, change as the result of Brenly's statements. They're no more meaningful in that sense than any random fan's statements.
   8. Monty Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:41 AM (#3993703)
"numbers gatherer" and loafer aren't the same thing.


You've never heard the saying "Gather ye numbers while ye may"?
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3993708)
The real loafer on the Cubs is Soriano. If they are overhauling the roster I would dump that guy no matter the salary because of the poor influence he would be on newer players.

Soriano can still play some but gosh is he a lollygagger.
   10. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:26 AM (#3993718)
Agreed, Harvey. And you'd think that with his deteriorated skills, he would bust ass whenever he could. But I guess if you haven't ascended to the big leagues by being a scrappy go-getter, then I guess it's just not in most guys to flip that switch and change their ways.

Personally, Aramis' habit of not running out balls that became errors was grating, but I never faulted him for not taking the extra base just because I feared for his health any time he had to run more than 90 feet.
   11. SteveM. Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#3993720)

Soriano can still play some but gosh is he a lollygagger.


To call him that is an insult to lollygaggers. I get the impression that Soriano only hustles to the bank to cash his paycheck.
   12. berselius Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:01 AM (#3993739)
I get the impression that what we see from Soriano is what we get. If you watch him run you can tell something's not right. He's got nothing left in his legs.
   13. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:26 AM (#3993748)
Ramirez lazily gathers numbers. If you have a Little Leaguer at home, show him videos of Pete Rose. He gathered numbers the way they were meant to be gathered.
   14. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:32 AM (#3993753)
[1]You have a strange concept of the truth Steve.
   15. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:34 AM (#3993754)
It's shameful that Harvey appreciates Aramis more than most Cubs fans.
   16. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:37 AM (#3993755)
Latin players are lazy, white players are gutsy. I learned that at lazy broadcaster's school.
   17. Chicago Joe Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:37 AM (#3993768)
I find it irritating that the best third baseman we've had since Santo is a "loafer" because Brenly didn't get the Cubs managing job twice.
Seriously, I agree with 10 above. Aramis gets injured and you're left with Jeff Baker or worse. The guy's probably among the top 200 non-pitchers in history. You want his bat in the damn lineup.
   18. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2011 at 01:21 PM (#3993799)
Glad to see that Brenly is still a jackass

I assumer number gatherer is the same thing as a number hanger that was what nyc writers called players who have high batting averages or high rbi totals but didntI help the team win according to the writer the phrase and its usage was generally pure bullshit
i
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3993808)
SSR

Well, the guy is a good player. He drags himself out on the field unless it's really serious. He battles third base to a draw and makes his share of solid plays. He certainly can hit. He's incredibly consistent. And if he does stay in Chicago he could battle Santo for best third baseman in Cubs history, no?

And folks always mock me for saying so but Ramirez is 33, has almost 1800 hits, over 300 home runs and I think he lasts until he's 40.

I think Aramis could end up with some pretty good numbers and make HOF voters scratch their chins.
   20. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 15, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3993809)
The guy's probably among the top 200 non-pitchers in history. You want his bat in the damn lineup.
He's at #430 in the BB-Ref ELO rankings, which seems a bit low (he's below Reggie Sanders?!?).

Anyway, guys like Larry Doby and Joe Sewell are sitting near #200, so I think it'd be a challenge to fit Aramis in there.
   21. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 15, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#3993814)
For a while there, Reggie Sanders was *really good.*
   22. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3993819)
Sanders had some very good seasons, sure, but as a whole, he's a corner outfielder with an average glove and a career 115 OPS+. Only had two seasons with a (BBRef) WAR above 4, mostly hovered at or near 3 WAR/season, never managed to put together a 600 PA season. A good everyday player but nothing special.

I think the thing that kills Ramirez in the BBRef ELO is that he had so many crap years at the start of his career that all those negative WAR numbers kill his career total. I guess it depends on your position re: not holding negative WAR seasons at the start or end of a career against a player. There's about 600 PA of awfulness at the start of his career that he got mostly because he was in a basket case organization that did things like give a 20-year old kid the everyday third base job a year after a good season in the Carolina League.
   23. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#3993820)
Well, the guy is a good player. He drags himself out on the field unless it's really serious. He battles third base to a draw and makes his share of solid plays. He certainly can hit. He's incredibly consistent. And if he does stay in Chicago he could battle Santo for best third baseman in Cubs history, no?

And folks always mock me for saying so but Ramirez is 33, has almost 1800 hits, over 300 home runs and I think he lasts until he's 40.

I think Aramis could end up with some pretty good numbers and make HOF voters scratch their chins.


I agree with the second half, but not with the first --

Year-to-year, he's relatively consistent -- but in-season, Rameriz can be incredibly streaky. He can go a whole month when you think he's turned into Jose Macias, but then also carry the whole offense (as he did this past year in late summer). In fact, I think that's a big part of the reason someone like Brenly might call him a "numbers gatherer" and others say he loafs --- he's average on his best days at 3B, so when the bat is cold, it's not like he's wowing you with the glove. He's had an endless array of groin and hamstring problems -- and wasn't particularly fast to begin with -- so again, if he's not going deep, it looks like he's a loafer.

I hate to compare him to Cris Carer (All he does is catch touchdowns) - but that's really Rameriz in a nutshell... during a 3-4 week hotstreak, it seems like every other at-bat is a homerun or gap splitter, but otherwise - he's invisible at best, and to a frustrated announcer or fanbase watching a frustrating losing streak - it's easy to pick out the high paid, nominal star who seems to be running out his pop-ups to short LF in a leisurely way or waving at balls to left in the field.

I do think Rameriz has better odds than most people think to end up with a moderately interesting HoF case -- I'm just not particularly inconsolable that he'll be making the rest of it somewhere else.
   24. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3993821)
Well, the guy is a good player. He drags himself out on the field unless it's really serious. He battles third base to a draw and makes his share of solid plays. He certainly can hit. He's incredibly consistent. And if he does stay in Chicago he could battle Santo for best third baseman in Cubs history, no?

I'm going to go with a no on that. Santo was 34 when he retired, and Ramirez will turn 34 mid next season. Ramirez has 33.8 career WAR via Fangraphs, Santo 79.3. Yes, a lot of that is based on an evaluation of defense, but I think few would argue that Santo was anything but really good defensively, and that Ramirez is fair to middlin' at best, so the gulf between them probably remains pretty big. Even based on offense alone, I think Santo's contributions were greater.

EDIT: Fangraphs also gives Ramirez a huge ding for baserunning, and I think few would argue that he is both slow and clueless on the bases. Santo was also slow, but probably a bit more aware of what he was doing. Of course, the Cubs of the 2000s are the worst baserunning teams I have ever seen, so maybe it's a virus he caught.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3993844)
Andere/zonk

Understood.

As should be apparent, I am an Aramis fan.
   26. The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3993848)
I find it irritating that the best third baseman we've had since Santo is a "loafer" because Brenly didn't get the Cubs managing job twice.
Santo himself was regarded as a "showboat" and "not clutch", in his day.

In other words, this stuff is usually BS.
   27. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3993856)
While slow, I wouldn't say Ramirez is clueless on the basepaths. Maybe it's because I'm comparing him to the scads of horrible baserunners on the Cubs the past few years, but Ramirez certainly didn't stand out the way a Ryan Theriot or Ronny Cedeno did.

I don't buy the 3-4 weeks Ramirez inconsistency. The stats simply don't back it up.
   28. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3993871)
While slow, I wouldn't say Ramirez is clueless on the basepaths. Maybe it's because I'm comparing him to the scads of horrible baserunners on the Cubs the past few years, but Ramirez certainly didn't stand out the way a Ryan Theriot or Ronny Cedeno did.

Or Moises Alou, or Michael Barrett... Anyway, I don't think it is a point in his favor.
   29. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3993872)
I don't understand the Aramis hate from Brenly and assorted Cub fans at all. The guy's been one of the best hitters on the team for years. With his injury history, I'm OK with the "loafing" -- I'd rather he not get an extra base and stay in the damned lineup.

No, he's not Ron ####### Santo. Is that the standard now? If you're a 3B and not Santo, you're loafing and/or "gathering numbers" (whatever the #### that means)?

#### me but Brenly is an idiot.
   30. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#3993878)
I don't buy the 3-4 weeks Ramirez inconsistency. The stats simply don't back it up.


In 2011 - he hit a combined 2 HRs in April and May and struggled to slug .400 (.400 on the dot in April, .391 in May). He slugged .574, .608, and .575 in June/July/August (August slash line 377/429/575)... Like I said - he was Jose Macias in the first two month -- an empty .280 hitter.

In 2010 - he was dreadful in April (152/216/283) and May (173/241/253), dreadful (and hurt) in June -- then somewhat salvaged his season with a huge July (313/340/667) and August (301/356/505).

I'll set aside 2009 since he missed nearly 2/3 the season --

In 2008 - he hit 265/330/461 in June and 228/323/467 in July -- but 305/396/579 in August, as well as 287/411/554 in April and 318/429/489 in May.

I haven't done the research to be able to honestly say that A-Ram seems to deviate more than other quality hitters and maybe I'm being shaded too much by 2010, but when A-Ram is hot, he just seems to be lights out, hitting everything in sight... but when he's not, he can look really awful.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3993883)
SSR:

I think the frame of reference regarding inconsistency is the following:

2011 Aramis hits 2 homers the first two months before slugging around .550 the remainder of the season

2010 Aramis is an abject disaster the first two months before slugging over .500 the remainder of the season

Prior to that he was pretty much a metronome at the plate.

But the last two seasons if he started any slower someone might have pronounced him dead
   32. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3993885)
I haven't done the research to be able to honestly say that A-Ram seems to deviate more than other quality hitters and maybe I'm being shaded too much by 2010, but when A-Ram is hot, he just seems to be lights out, hitting everything in sight... but when he's not, he can look really awful.


I'd argue that applies to virtually every player ever. Player gets hot, player gets cold.
   33. tshipman Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#3993894)
Player gets hot, player gets cold.


Can't explain that.
   34. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3993898)

I'd argue that applies to virtually every player ever. Player gets hot, player gets cold.


Maybe -- just checking a random + player - I see Adrian Beltre was absolutely on fire in August and September, but posted OPS+ of 86, 67, and 64 through June...

Of course - Beltre is also a legitimately good to great defender at 3B, so even when he's not hitting particularly well, he's still contributing whereas if A-ram is cold, he's useless.

If there's any studies on streakiness - and using months is probably bad shorthand (arbitrary cut-offs and what not) - I'd be interested to read them.
   35. Weeks T. Olive Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3993914)
Or Moises Alou, or Michael Barrett...

Or Jacques Jones ...

The list is endless, really.
   36. Brian C Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3993926)
In 2008 - he hit 265/330/461 in June and 228/323/467 in July -- but 305/396/579 in August, as well as 287/411/554 in April and 318/429/489 in May.

Those June and July numbers look awfully good for a "slumping" hitter.

I like SSR am having a hard time with the Aramis slagging here. He's been a great third baseman for the team since he came over from Pittsburgh. I don't like that he doesn't run out grounders either, but good grief, his contributions have been overwhelmingly positive over the last 8.5 seasons. I would certainly think he has a case as one of the top 25 position players in team history and one of the top 5 players overall during my awareness as a fan (i.e., since 1986).

I perfectly well understand (and agree with) why the Cubs aren't pursuing him now, but Brenly's childish yapping aside, I see no reason for him to leave on bad terms with the organization or the fans. He's done good and even though the time has come for it to happen, I'm sorry to see him go. Good luck, Aramis ... try to find an AL team that will let you DH from time to time.
   37. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3993947)
Spot-checked Santo's last 3 full years, looks just as inconsistent. 200 point OPS fluctuations month-to-month in '72. Huge dropoff last 3 months in '71. 3 month struggle to start '70.
   38. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:12 PM (#3993974)
Oh sure - I'm not interested in shoving him out the door on a bad note either, though it makes sense for him to go at this point.

Interesting question on where A-Ram ranks on the Cubs all-time list...

Definitely ahead of him without even looking --

Banks
Santo
Sandberg
Billy Williams
Cap Anson
Gabby Hartnett
Sammy Sosa (depending on your steroid feelings, I guess)

Guys I suspect clear A-Ram, but I suppose are worth checking --
Stan Hack
Phil Cavaretta
Mark Grace
Hack Wilson (even with the extreme peak)
Kiki Cuyler
Billy Herman

Maybe's to Probablies???
Jimmy Ryan
Rogers Hornsby (have to look at his Cubs/Cards splits more closely)
Wildfire Schulte
Swish Nicholson
Andre Dawson
Hank Sauer
Charlie Grimm

Then...
Don Kessinger?...I distrust defensive metrics
Frank Chance?
Riggs Stephenson
Andy Pafko?
Leon Durham?
Derek Lee?
Jody Dacis?


It's harder than I thought initially... I suppose if you're an absolute, EXTREME peak guy - it might get a bit easier, but not that much.
   39. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3993981)
I perfectly well understand (and agree with) why the Cubs aren't pursuing him now, but Brenly's childish yapping aside, I see no reason for him to leave on bad terms with the organization or the fans. He's done good and even though the time has come for it to happen, I'm sorry to see him go. Good luck, Aramis ... try to find an AL team that will let you DH from time to time.

This. I really haven't had a problem with Brenly the announcer. But trashing the guy on his way out is the old Cubs way.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3993998)
If Aramis hit lefty I would be badgering Doug Melvin personally to sign the guy to a 2 year deal (if he would take one).

If one believes the Brewers window is NOW then 'hoping' that Casey or Taylor Green hit enough is insufficient.

Ramirez has been churning out .500 plus slugging seasons regularly for a decade. Until he doesn't I figure he will.

But he hits rightie, the Brewers are heavy on the right side of the plate so I have tempered mi entusiasmo
   41. fhomess Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3994008)
What effect could Brenly's opinion, or the broadcasting of it however far, possibly have on Ramirez's prospects? Nobody with the Cubs or any other organization is going to have its opinion of Ramirez , whether it wants Ramirez, or how much it wants Ramirez in terms of years and money, change as the result of Brenly's statements. They're no more meaningful in that sense than any random fan's statements.

GM's (for the most part) are human, and subconsiously swayed by opinions that are aired. Perhaps not really changing an opinion significantly, but the overreaction to Brenly's comment probably puts Ramirez back in the minds of some GM's who will now take a second look at him as an option. A free agent's job is to keep his player in the minds of as many GM's as possible until he gets a deal he likes.
   42. SteveM. Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#3994010)
[1]You have a strange concept of the truth Steve.


The last two years, I have seen Aramis play indifferent defense, rarely run hard and in my eyes, have a lackadaisical attitude. I recognize Aramis is the best Cubs 3B since Santo, and that throughout his stay in Chicago, was one if not the best hitter on the team. But either the Cubs struggles got to him or he just quit giving a damn. Which is sad, because he was always among my favorite Cubs up until this year.
   43. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#3994048)
I would still like to know what the context of Brenly's comments were. Thoughts on Brenly as a manager aside, he has generally been fair with criticisms during his tenure in the Cubs' broadcast booth.
   44. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3994059)
If I were saddled with a contract to play for the Cubs the last couple of years, I'd probably slag off a bit too. It's hard to get pumped for a game when you know Darwin Barney is hitting behind you.
   45. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3994065)
The last two years, I have seen Aramis play indifferent defense, rarely run hard and in my eyes, have a lackadaisical attitude. I recognize Aramis is the best Cubs 3B since Santo, and that throughout his stay in Chicago, was one if not the best hitter on the team. But either the Cubs struggles got to him or he just quit giving a damn. Which is sad, because he was always among my favorite Cubs up until this year.

While I recognize Ramirez's contributions over the years, I have to agree with this. This is a good time for some significant turnover on the roster, even if Ramirez is still pretty good.
   46. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#3994098)
Ramirez's fielding and baserunning #s have been in decline for years. Did he decide to quit giving a damn a little bit more each year, or is he just a 33 year old who's been in the majors 12 years (including a season he played on a damn broken ankle for a terrible team when his lazy tag was first attached)
   47. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 15, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3994131)
Beltre is also a legitimately good to great defender at 3B, so even when he's not hitting particularly well, he's still contributing whereas if A-ram is cold, he's useless.


But good fielders have poor stretches in the field just as much as good hitters have stretches of hitting poorly.
   48. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3994185)
I think the thing that kills Ramirez in the BBRef ELO is that he had so many crap years at the start of his career that all those negative WAR numbers kill his career total. I guess it depends on your position re: not holding negative WAR seasons at the start or end of a career against a player. There's about 600 PA of awfulness at the start of his career that he got mostly because he was in a basket case organization that did things like give a 20-year old kid the everyday third base job a year after a good season in the Carolina League.


I had Aramis as a farm guy in my roto league, he came up and I had to activate or lose him, well he was horrible so after killing me for a few months I dropped him...

then 2001 happened (.300-34-112)
He was a free agent in my roto league the next year and I got him at the auction- overspending- and was rewarded with .234-18-71 (72 OPS+)
Ok, I cut him, but pick him up the next year at auction (for less money)- and he was even WORSE- so I traded him- and I know exactly when I traded him - it was May 13, he was hitting:.218/.288/.317
he immediately started a 22 game hitting streak where he went 42/94:.447/.455/.574 on route to a .272-27-106 year

If you remove his time with my roto teams from his career his career OPS+ must be 125 or higher rather than 114

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