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Hanley: Thank You, Aramis…

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Aramis Ramirez will move north and join the Brewers. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Aramis Ramirez will move north and join the Brewers. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Brian-Hanley Brian Hanley
I was born in 1960 on the westside of Chicago at the venerable St....
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Thank
you, Aramis Ramirez.
Thanks
for taking temptation away from the Cubs.
Paul
Kinzer, Ramirez’s agent, told the Cubs Wednesday they don’t have to waste time
thinking about spending $16 million to bring the third baseman back next
season.
If
the Cubs exercise the mutual option, Ramirez will decline it, according to
Kinzer.
“That’s
not going to happen,” he agent said. “He’s 33 and not looking for a one-year
deal.”
Ramirez
believes he can get a three or four year deal.
Bet
most Cubs fans feel it better not be here.
Not
that Ramirez like is a bad guy the likes of Milton Bradley or a clubhouse
distraction ala Carlos Zambrano.
Far
from it.
Ramirez
has, however, too often been MIA in April and May. See two homers in that span
this lost season–only to heat up when the team is well in the rearview mirror
of division contenders.
Winning
the World Series just doesn’t seem to be atop Ramirez’s bucket list.
“The
door is still open, but at this point we’ll explore free agency,” Kinzer said.
“If they want to make an offer, they’ll be on his short list.”
Better to spend that
$14 million, after paying Ramirez his $2 million buyout, on starting pitching
since only one National League team had a worse ERA than the Cubs, a squad last
in the NL in defense.

What’s the saying? Pitching and
defense win championships.

Help!

Cubs nation has to realize the
next season, or three, will be rebuilding ones. So Ramirez’s usual .300 average
and 90-100 RBI, nice-looking numbers no doubt, won’t be the difference between
making the playoffs or not.

Yes it won’t be easy replacing
Ramirez via what is a barren free-agent market for third basemen. But don’t be
surprised if the Cubs don’t have Josh Vitters or DJ Lemahieu at third next
season, ready or not.

Likely not.

Sure, there are going to be
growing pains. But can they hurt anymore than this 69-87 season?

Hope you will join Mully and me
Thursday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. when we talk Chicago sports.

As always, thanks for
listening.

–Hanley
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