Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Season Over?

A few days ago, the Cubs were a team on the edge. They were winning, but a few tough losses and that might've been all it took for them to spiral out of playoff contention and into the crapper.

Two days ago, they lost Kerry Wood early again. Ouch.

Yesterday, the bullpen coughed up six runs (along with a fair share of blood) and they lost for the second time to the Cincinnati Reds.

Yesterday evening, Andy Dolan pronounced the season dead. Only eternal optimist Al Yellon had good things to say, reminding us Cubs fans that other teams from past seasons have gone on and made the playoffs, including the 2003 Cubs!

Meanwhile, speculation continues to bound while the Cubs take on the Deadbirds. Over at North Side Baseball, someone claiming to know a person in the Reds organization has said that Adam Dunn is on his way to Chicago. This has brought the poor guy nothing but scorn from the NSBB people, because if he's wrong, then he's a terrible person for getting everyone's hopes up.

Over in the comments section, I've been having a tepid debate with someone who goes by the name 368.

368 claims to like Aramis Ramirez, but finds it disconcerting that A-Ram doesn't run hard to first base. In spite of the fact that Aramis has had a nagging groin (and hamstring, and back) injury, 368 just can't get behind a guy who doesn't hustle to first base.

The Cubs had an infielder who hustled to first in spite of a sore groin. Want to see what happened to him the last time he tried to run out a ground ball?

Considering that Nomar's injury happened this year, does anyone really think Dusty is crazy enough to tell anyone on the team, "I don't care if your groin is catching a little, I want you to flat out run to first every single time!"

Ok, maybe Dusty is enough of a moron to tell his players to run it out even if they're sore, but I certainly hope he isn't. In fact, I feel pretty sure that Dusty probably pulled Aramis aside moments after they carried Nomar off the field and said the following:

"Aramis, dude, you just signed a huge contract extension. We need you to stay healthy, dude. If you hit the ball in the infield and it looks like it'll be an easy out, take it easy, dude. But still, run on the plays that matter. But dude, don't end up like Nomar. That'd be nothing but bad news, dude."

But, since Aramis also had a groin injury last year, he must have some commitment issues toward rehabbing.

Except you don't rehab a groin injury. You let it heal. If it doesn't heal, it's not because you haven't been working hard enough. It might be because you've been working too hard and pushed yourself more than you should have!

So, 368, as this will be the last time I address this issue, I say to you: give Aramis a break. If you really want him to run hard to first after every ground ball, just scroll back up and have a look at Nomar, our 8 million dollar bust. But if you want the Cubs to have a third baseman who's an All Star with the capability of 40 homers and 120 RBI in a season, then sit back, pray that Dusty's miracle holy water will heal Aramis, and watch the man play the game.

There are worse players on the Cubs who have a worse grasp of fundamentals who you could be picking on. But leave Aramis alone.

368

I'd really rather not dog Aramis. But if you're going to call me out:
I feel (and it was emphasized by Brenly on tonight's broadcast) that he gives lackluster effort. He has given lackluster effort since he came up with Pittsburgh. That was one of the criticisms of him. You may not recall that but feel free to research it. As I recall, he came from a relatively wealthy family, and was not the typical struggling to make a living Dominican.

Andy over at Disipio feels that Aramis groin problem is a figment of his imagination. He thinks Aramis fears there are land mines between the bases.
My comments concerning rehab indicated that he or the training staff were at fault. Rehabbing does not mean exertion. It means rehabilitation. Whirlpool, electronic stim, rest, heat, whatever. He was our best position player last year and if the Cubs did not oversee his rehab the fault is with them. If he did not follow their instructions or ran a few triathalons from October to March, the fault is with him.
If he has a bad groin and is in danger of blowing it out, he should sit until it's healed.The Cubs just signed him to a big money contract and as you say, just lost their shortstop to a torn groin. Furthermore, thet're essentially out of the race. Wouldn't you protect your investment by resting him until it's better? Yes you would and so would they. (If it is a potentially serious injury)
Bottom line is he doesn't hustle. If your idea of a stud is Manny Ramirez, Aramis is your guy. If your idea of a stud is D Lee, Andre Dawson, Bill Buckner, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Aramis isn't your guy.
If it doen't look promising, he's not giving effort. If he's had a bad groin since he's been in the league, I apologize to him. Otherwise he need to put forth an effort. And spare me the Nomar analogy. Every leg problem is not going to develop into torn abdominal muscles.
The acceptance of that kind of effort really puzzles me. Guys that don't hustle should be the first one's booed. They booed Patterson because he stinks, and it had an impact. Boo this guy when he doesn't run. Let him know that not running is not acceptable. I think it will send a message that he will respond to. And a hustling Ramirez, with his talent, is a bright spot in this line-up for a long time to come.

368

Oh, By the way, I think I find it disconcerting, not disconcerning. Although I'm not familiar with the word, I assume disconcerning would indicate a lack of concern, and render this whole dialouge moot, (Not mute).

James

for someone who's going all grammar police on people, do you really want me to point all the typos in the posts you've been making?

kurt

Well, at least you're out with it now. It's just kind of funny...

"I like Aramis, but..."

has become

"He's not my type of player, he's dogged it his entire career, his groin injury is a figment of his imagination," etc. etc.

Doesn't the truth just SOUND different?

368

I assume your big brother runs this site and lets you write an occasional article. You are really weak. If you're death there's no reason to fear death. Your initial article was inaccurate in terms of the rehab issue: (1) I never blamed him for not working out, I questioned who's reponsibility it was that the groin problem lingered for 6 months.(2)I never said he needed to "work out", I questioned the rehab.
I did not say the injury was a figment of his imagination, Andy at Desipio said that. I pointed it out to you. I did not say he has dogged it his entire career. I said that the criticism of him in Pittsburgh was he gave lackluster effort. Brenly flat out said he gives lackluster effort on the telecast last night. Now, the last thing a color man (especially in light of last year) wants to question is effort. Since he travels with the team, is in the clubhouse, talks to the players, manager, coaches and training staff on a daily basis, my opinion is he would not say something like that if there was a physical reason that prevents him from hustling.
Aramis has not dogged it his entire career. The last half of '03 and most of '04 he appeared to hustle. Even the first 3 months of this year. That appears to coincide with the times the team had aspirations for post season play. Maybe thats a coincidence.
The wind up is stop trying to tell me what players I like and don't like. Talentwise, Aramis Ramirez is the best third baseman in the NL this year. I'm glad he's a Cub. I personally would like to see him hustle more and if he's hurt rest him and treat him.
I think if I were you, and in a position to type in the big color letters on the opening page of the site, I'd respond to the points a commentor made and why I disagree. I'd make an attempt to read what they wrote, correctly restate what they said, and give reasons why I believe they were wrong That's what a discussion is all about.
I suppose however, if I had no ammunition, I may attempt to use my powers to reach inside their psyche, and find the inner hater.
You're more corpse than death.

368

James
Not to go all grammar police on you, but I did not mean to correct his grammar. He used a word that to my knowledge doesn't exist (if I was grammar police I'd know)but more importantly, is the opposite of what he meant. Perhaps he has been confused on this word is whole life, and I may have saved him some real embarrasment. Maybe even got him that big promotion, and a home in Lake Forest.
Your role as a member of the keyboard police is invaluable. Keep up the good work!
Not for nothing, but I never met a James. I know a hundred Jims and Jimmys though.

kurt

Tommy, you really hit on the heart of the matter. In fact, I'm a 15 year old Cubs fan who is only permitted to post on this or any other blog because of my older brother. Were it not for him, I would be nothing.

Hey, it's OK to dislike Aramis. That's you're right as a Cubs fan. A lot of people disliked Sammy Sosa, even when he was at the peek of his production. You have the right to your opinion. It's just too bad you get so grouchy when I so vocally disagree with it.

You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, although you strike me as being just a *smidgen* immature. Like I said in another comments section, I heartily encourage you to get a blog. We'd even link you here at Goat Riders. There, you could voice your opinion without worry of me ever disagreeing or misinterpreting it.

Have fun, and keep the faith!

368

Thanks for the encouragement. You certainly can disagree. What I do resent is you continually telling me I do not like Ramirez rather than addressing the points I attempted to make in defense of my opinion.
You misrepresented my opinion on the rehab,and you took Andy's quote and attributed to me.
Then in todays post you twice referenced my opinion in a mocking manner.
You are not going to like what I have to say to you or anyone in that scenario.
When you find your best response to an argument is to read the other person's mind rather than support your point of view with supporting opinions or facts, you're probably on the wrong side of the argument.
Some would say not responding to my points and resorting to snide remarks and mind reading may also be a sign of immaturity. Not me though.

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