Dressed in his new navy uniform Saturday, awaiting a visit from his former club, Ramirez said he understood why he wasn’t wanted back after his contract expired and holds no resentment, except maybe for broadcaster Bob Brenly.
His disappointment with Brenly’s analysis last season was well-documented, yet the incident still hasn’t run its course when talking to Ramirez.
“He’s a broadcaster, he should just worry about calling the game,” Ramirez said. “He’s not a coach, he’s not a manager. He should just call the game. The coaches, the manager, the general manager, they should take care of that other stuff.”
What that front office did was decide to part ways with Ramirez. Ian Stewart was brought in to give the Cubs a new third baseman for the first time in 8½ seasons. If the turn of events irked Ramirez, he wasn’t showing it.
“I wasn’t shocked because right after the season my agent talked to Theo [Epstein] when he got hired and he basically told him that they were going to go young, so I wasn’t surprised by the moves that they made,” Ramirez said.
Perhaps the move would have affected him more had he gone to a club that was struggling, but landing with the defending National League Central champs has made his transition easier.
“It’s baseball, but it’s different; different guys, different teammates,” Ramirez said. “They were good out there, they’re good here. The only difference is these guys won 96 games last year. It’s different because they’re ready to win now. Theo has a different plan. He’s going young with different players. Here, they are going in a different direction.”
It probably didn’t matter where Ramirez ended up, he’ll probably have a rough reception when he returns to Wrigley Field. Moving to a division rival only seems to solidify that.
Will he be disappointed if/when Cubs fans boo him?
“No, that’s part of baseball,” he said. “I’ve been booed before when I left Pittsburgh. Every time I still go back, I spent a lot of time there, and every time I go back I still get booed, so I guess if they take it that way. I don’t know how they will take it. I don’t really worry about it, I can’t control that stuff.”