Angry Aramis Ramirez fires back at Todd Hollandsworth
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com August 12, 2011 11:00PM
Updated: October 19, 2011 2:50AM
ATLANTA — Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez took exception to former teammate Todd Hollandsworth calling him out publicly Friday for lack of effort and for failing to be a positive influence on younger players, and he took his own shot in response.
‘‘When you’ve got your best player — he’s your best hitter; we’ve watched it for years now — and you can’t seem to have a positive effect on the guys around you in the clubhouse,’’ Hollandsworth, an analyst for broadcast affiliate Comcast SportsNet, told the ‘‘MacNeil and Spiegel’’ show on WSCR-AM (670), ‘‘getting them to step up or play to a different level, it’s just hard for me to swallow, especially when you’re being paid to be that guy.’’
Ramirez, a Cubs teammate of Hollandsworth in 2004 and ’05, is in the final guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million extension. He leads the team with 71 RBI and is hitting .286 with 21 home runs.
‘‘Then you bring into question effort,’’ Hollandsworth continued, ‘‘and that’s one thing in the game of baseball that really is inexcusable. One hundred percent effort all the time — there’s really no reason for you not to have 100 percent effort. He’s got impressionable kids around him right now — Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro. These kids are growing up, they’re watching it, and you know what? They’re not getting any better.’’
Ramirez, who has done some behind-the-scenes work with Castro in particular, was not happy.
‘‘One thing I got to say is I’ve never seen him in the clubhouse, so I don’t know how he comes up with that,’’ Ramirez said. ‘‘He should ask the young guys before he makes that kind of statement. Talk to Barney, talk to Castro, and see what they say. That’s all I’ve got to say.
‘‘Oh, and one [more] thing I’d like to say: I wouldn’t trade my career for his. I think I’ve got a way better career than he did.’’