Aramis Ramirez returns to Wrigley
CHICAGO -- Despite being told by the Chicago Cubs' new management that they weren't interested in re-signing him, Aramis Ramirez said Monday he held no ill feelings as he visited Wrigley Field for the first time since joining the Milwaukee Brewers.
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"Any time they change the GM, the front office, there's going to be a lot of changes on the field also," said Ramirez, who spent 8½ seasons with the Cubs, said before the Brewers' 7-5 win. "You can see that happen with new players, new coaches, new manager. That's part of the game, though.
"They basically told my agent they were going to go young. They were going to go with the young players. I can't fit in those plans. Everybody has their own priorities. Their priorities are to go out and get younger and build a farm system. You can see that. They didn't go out and spend any money. They didn't sign any free agents. They want to start from the bottom, I guess."
Ramirez and the Cubs parted ways after last season when he declined a $16 million mutual option for the 2012 season. Ramirez sought a multiyear deal, which the Cubs weren't offering, and he found it from the Brewers.
Ramirez hit .294 with 239 home runs and 806 RBIs in 1,124 games with the Cubs. Last season, he hit .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs.
He entered Monday off to a slow start this season, getting one hit in his first 11 at-bats.
Ramirez was hopeful Cubs fans would welcome him back warmly, but he also knew it was something he couldn't worry too much about.
"It's not that I don't care," Ramirez said before the game. "It's just that I can't control that. I guess you got to ask that question to the fans. If they don't appreciate the way I played, what I did, that's up to them. But I think I did pretty good here in my time here.
"This is a great place to play baseball games. It's a great atmosphere. It's packed every day. Even when you're not having a good season as a team, they'll still come and support you. I will miss it."
Ramirez, who still owns property in Chicago, even went as far as saying he would return to the Cubs if they sought to bring him back down the road.
"Why not?" Ramirez said. "I played most of my career here. I like it here. My family likes it here."
While everything appeared the same to Ramirez on Monday, it didn't feel the same.
"It's different," Ramirez said. "I spent the most of my time of my career, almost nine years here in Chicago, playing on the other side. To be in the visitors' clubhouse, it's a little weird, it's a little different."