He’s officially gone

A number of years ago, I was participating in a fantasy baseball draft and I picked an unknown (at least to the people taking part in the draft) third baseman named Aramis Ramirez. I pronounced it AIR-uh-miss, and nobody said anything to the contrary.

A few months later, in the middle of the season, the Cubs made a trade with Pittsburgh, and Ramirez came to Chicago. I learned that the right way to pronounce his name was Uh-RAH-miss.

He helped lead the Cubs to a division title in 2003, so his career in Chicago got off to a great start. For the first time since Ron Santo left in the 1970s, the Cubs had a reliable third baseman (I’m not sure why Bill Madlock was never considered one) AND Cub fans got to quit hearing stories about the Cubs’ lack of a reliable third baseman. It was a win-win for all parties involved.

Ramirez had some decent years playing in Chicago–and made a lot more money than he would have made in Pittsburgh–but he never took the team into the World Series. It’s not entirely his fault, but he did disappear at times when the Cubs needed him to lead the way.

So after declining a guaranteed one year deal with the Cubs for next season, Ramirez instead chose to sign with Milwaukee for a three-year deal worth $36 million. The fact that the Brewers are in the Cubs’ division means he’ll come to Wrigley many times in the three years ahead. Some Cubs fans could cheer him when he does, but there will be plenty who will boo him instead, seeing his departure as a betrayal of some sort.

As for me, I’ll probably just go back to calling him AIR-uh-miss and move on. We were never going to win with him around, anyway. It’s best to just turn the page.

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