‘Everything’s cool’ after fight with Silva, Ramirez says
By Gordon Wittenmyer email@example.com March 2, 2011 10:52PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MARYVALE, Ariz. — Aramis Ramirez tried to put a calm face on his dustup in the dugout with teammate Carlos Silva, but even the poised veteran seemed to be surprised by the quick-tempered, quick turn of events Wednesday in the fourth exhibition game.
How often do things like that happen in spring training?
‘‘I don’t know. I never had that problem in my life,’’ Ramirez said, ‘‘even in the regular season, nowhere. Even in Little League I never fought, never got involved with a teammate like that. But it’s in the past. We’ll move on.’’
Ramirez said that the scuffle — which began when Ramirez took offense at Silva’s general criticism of the first-inning fielding behind him — was over quickly, and he, Silva and manager Mike Quade talked briefly and cleared it up as far as he’s concerned.
‘‘We talked about it, and everything’s cool,’’ Ramirez said. ‘‘Nobody feels worse than an infielder or an outfielder when they make errors.’’
Silva, who refused to talk to reporters, already has made it clear he feels like he shouldn’t have to win a starting job in camp, which could be fueling his emotions during an outing such as Wednesday’s.
‘‘He’s fighting for a spot right now, so he wants to do good. It matters for him,’’ Ramirez said. ‘‘It might not matter for somebody like [Matt] Garza or [Ryan] Dempster, but he has to do good to get in the rotation. And obviously he didn’t do it today.’’
So when Silva went off, was Ramirez playing the part of peacemaker?
‘‘I’m not a troublemaker — put it that way,’’ he said.
14 other issues
Whether the Cubs eventually play nice, they’d better play better if they intend to improve on a 75-win season marked by poor fielding last year.
Even before Wednesday’s five-error debacle pushed the four-game total to 14, Quade had seen enough to sit down with young shortstop Starlin Castro about bearing down on his fielding and baserunning.
Castro committed an error Tuesday on a high throw and then bobbled a ball in the first inning Wednesday. He also was picked off first by the catcher in the first inning Tuesday.
He had a team-high 27 errors as a rookie in 2010.
‘‘I had a long talk with Cassie and talked to him about demanding a more intense approach in his practice sessions,’’ Quade said. ‘‘There’s got to be a balance, to me. I don’t need him to do anything at the plate any different. But maybe we bear down at the end of his ground balls [work] every day.
‘‘I know when he goes out for his early work, [coach] Ivan [DeJesus] is going to incorporate that, to where you get your work and you understand your situations that are being presented to you that day, but the last three to five minutes are game situations, period. The same on the bases, when you’re running the bases in batting practice. Just more focus.’’