Ex-Cub Ramirez to face old team

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Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, April 9, 2012
— Aramis Ramirez, who played for the Chicago Cubs for eight-plus years before signing with the Milwaukee Brewers last winter, isn’t sure what reception he’ll get when the Brewers open a four-game series in Wrigley Field tonight.

“I don’t know,” said the veteran third baseman. “That’s a good question. I had a great career there. I played for some good teams and also played for some bad teams. I guess you have to ask the fans.”

Ramirez does expect rough treatment for teammate Ryan Braun after the publicity generated by his offseason drug-test saga.

“I think it’s going to be ugly for Braun everywhere we go,” Ramirez said. “On the road, it’s going to be tough for him. He knows it. That’s no secret. Plus, he got a taste of it in spring training. Everywhere we go, he was getting booed.”

Ramirez doesn’t expect it to have any negative effect whatsoever on Braun, however.

“He’s a good player and he’s tough,” said Ramirez. “He’s tough mentally and I think he’s going to be OK. He’s a good enough player to separate that from his game.”

When Ramirez returned to Pittsburgh after being traded to the Cubs during the 2003 season, he said he heard it from the fans there.

“They booed me,” Ramirez said. “I don’t know why. I

didn’t ask to be traded.”

Ramirez didn’t ask to leave Chicago, either. He signed a three-year deal with the Brewers after new Cubs president Theo Epstein let it be known that the team would be rebuilt.

“Theo was honest,” Ramirez said. “He told my agent they were going young so there was no place for me there. I’m 33.”

It will only be natural for Ramirez to want to go back and play well against the Cubs, and manager Ron Roenicke said that could go

either of two ways.

“A lot of times, that player that leaves comes back and does great,” said Roenicke. “Then, there’s the player that comes back and tries so hard to do well that he gets out of his game. It’s hard to say which way Aramis will go.

“He’s calm; he’s always thinking. But there’s still emotion under that calm.”

Roenicke said he doesn’t plan to talk to Braun before the opener in Chicago, that he already discussed playing on the road in spring training and his star knows what to expect.

“Chicago fans don’t like Ryan because he’s a great player,” said Roenicke. “So, regardless, they’re on him. That’s just the way it is, regardless of what has happened. They’re on him anyway.”

Crandall, Grimm to be honored

The Milwaukee Braves Historical Association will honor Del Crandall and the late Charlie Grimm on May 10 at a dinner at Potawatomi Casino’s Woodland Dreams Ballroom. Crandall was an eight-time all-star catcher who later managed the Milwaukee Brewers, and Grimm was the Braves’ first manager.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by sending a check payable to the MBHA at P.O. Box 210074, Milwaukee, WI, 53221. Tickets will be delivered via first-class mail.

Last updated: 8:11 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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