by Nathan Petrashek
That the third baseman hasn’t come close to filling departed slugger Prince Fielder’s shoes is a big problem, but the bigger problem may be his attitude. In 2011, like the previous five years, Brewers fans had the pleasure of watching Fielder leg out every ball in play, regardless of whether it was a ground ball or popup. He may have let the bat do most of his talking, but Fielder always looked like hewanted to play, and loved every minute of it.
The shift from Fielder to Ramirez has not been as smooth as most Brewers fans had hoped. His quiet bat (.256/.329/.452) has only amplified his failure to hustle. I can’t count how many times I have watched Ramirez jog to first.
To be sure, this isn’t a new problem with Ramirez. Cubs fans often complained of Ramirez’s lack of effort everywhere but at the plate. But it isn’t any more acceptable simply because the Brewers knew what they were getting. It is incumbent on Ramirez, particularly 2012’s light-hitting version, to at least act as though he gives a damn. If he really wants to impress his new club, that would be the way to do it. A lack of effort is something not even a .356 average could mask.