By Paul Schmidt
He’ll fix the budget crisis too! And heal all the election tension in Iran! I also heard he knows where Osama bin Laden is hiding and is, on his next off day, leading a team of Special Forces soldiers to bring him to justice!
I love Aramis, and I think that he is probably the most underrated superstar in the National League – At least, outside the city of Chicago. For those on the North Side, at least during his injury, you would think that he is Babe Ruth, Ichiro and Brooks Robinson all rolled into one.
They won their first game back with Rami, but he went 0-for-4. His mere presence in the lineup must have frightened my favorite Dutch pitcher, Jair Jurrjens, right?
I can’t stand idly by and listen any longer about how, with Ramirez back in the lineup, suddenly the Cubs will hit again.
Their starters, in June, were the best in all of baseball. And yet, they lost 4 more games than they won.
Obviously, the offense is a big problem.
Injuries, however, were not the biggest issue.
We have two main cogs in the lineup – Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano – who are apparently statistically punting the 2009 season. We have a second baseman in Mike Fontenot who should either be a platoon player or a sub off the bench – and is playing like it by only hitting .220. We have a right fielder in Milton Bradley who has been on a pretty big offensive tear as of late – to bring his average all the way into the .240s.
Setting aside Fontenot (who, honestly has no business starting), if Soto, Soriano and Bradley were all putting up the seasons they had last year, prorated, as of right now, you’d be looking at a first place ball club. And yes, I mean that, even with Aramis Ramirez, he who stands in the white robes and blesses us all, on the disabled list.
For anyone who thinks you can’t lose your best player and still win games, well, all you need to do is look at the team that eliminated us in the playoffs last year, the Los Angeles Dodgers. They’ve been missing some Manny guy for the last 50 games. While he was suspended, the Dodgers went 29-21, good for a .580 winning percentage. Now, granted, that was far less than the nearly .700 clip they were winning at prior to his suspension, but it does prove that a team doesn’t need to fold up shop when their best player disappears from the lineup card.
Which is, essentially, what happened with the Cubs. They just let the snowball start rolling down the hill, gathering speed and momentum, and once it had they couldn’t stop the slump – or the excuses.
Now, with Rami the Great and Benevolent back, the excuses have all run out.
It’s time to prove to your fans and the city what you’re made of, gentlemen. Because if you aren’t good enough, come this winter, we’ll be looking for real answers.
And, just so we’re clear, ‘Aramis Ramirez was hurt’ won’t be good enough.