Even Ramirez would like Quade’s steal of approval
By Gordon Wittenmyer firstname.lastname@example.org March 6, 2011 11:09PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs want to run more this year, but this is getting — to borrow a word from Carlos Silva — ridiculous.
‘‘I’ve got my third baseman wanting the green light already,’’ manager Mike Quade said. Aramis Ramirez?
‘‘Why not?’’ Ramirez said.
Maybe because he has seven stolen bases in eight seasons as a Cub — and has been thrown out trying eight times.
‘‘They aren’t paying attention to me; I know that for a fact,’’ he said.
‘‘You don’t have to be fast to steal bases,’’ he said. ‘‘Albert Pujols isn’t fast, and he gets, like, 15 every year. This year I think I can sneak five or 10. We’ll see.’’
Or not. Quade, who told Ramirez they’ll talk about it when it gets closer to the opener, wants to see the Cubs run a little more this year, but he’s not getting carried away with big expectations.
‘‘I know [baserunning coach] Bobby [Dernier] is very interested in making sure that this label that we don’t run gets eliminated,’’ Quade said. ‘‘But we need to run intelligently.’’
Especially considering they tied for last in steals in the majors last year (55) and ranked second from the bottom in success percentage (64) — not to mention that their steals leader the last four seasons (Ryan Theriot) was traded away last July.
‘‘But it’s definitely something we want to look into,’’ Quade said. ‘‘We don’t have a bunch of fliers on this club, but we want to take advantage when situations present themselves.’’
Former 40-40 man Alfonso Soriano probably won’t be asked to do a lot more on the bases than he has the last couple of years after a series of leg injuries, especially as a No. 6 hitter.
But Kosuke Fukudome, Starlin Castro, Marlon Byrd and maybe even Tyler Colvin could get the go-ahead with the right mix of pitcher, catcher and game situation.
‘‘And if you wind up with a kid like [burner Fernando] Perez, heck, you want to see him run,’’ Quade said. ‘‘It’s just about exploring every possible option, but doing it intelligently.’’
Which brings us back to Ramirez, who wonders if he might be able to get 15 steals.
‘‘At least 15 tries,’’ he said.
NOTES:Over his first two spring starts, Opening Day starter Ryan Dempster has allowed two runs in seven innings (four Sunday) with six strikeouts and one walk.
◆ A smiling Carlos Marmol on the walk he issued during his three-strikeout inning Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers: ‘‘I don’t worry about walks. I worry about striking out people.’’
◆ Marmol on whether he’s more relaxed this spring after signing that three-year, $20 million extension the first week of camp: ‘‘I don’t worry about the contract. I don’t worry about the money. I want to get another contract, man.’’