Rush Limbaugh sometimes tells his listeners that "a tiger is a tiger, a snake is a snake, and a liberal is a liberal."
Run, Aramis, run!
Despite what he might be saying in early March, Aramis Ramirez will never be confused with Rickey Henderson. His stated goal of stealing "five or 10" bases if given the opportunity this season is worthy of the laughs it has caused in the Cubs clubhouse.
The 32-year-old Ramirez did not attempt to steal a base last season and has just 15 stolen bases in 29 attempts during his 13-year major league career.
Instead of worrying about when and how often he gets the green light to steal from manager Mike Quade, Ramirez should be concentrating on getting in the necessary shape to avoid the nagging injuries that caused him to miss 116 games over the past two seasons. He should be focused on trying to get off to a strong start at the plate (he was hitting an astounding .158 as late as June 4 last year) and on giving a better defensive effort than he did on many occasions last year. I don't expect Ramirez to steal bases, but do expect him to hustle and run the bases in an intelligent fashion.
Mark Grace proved that a good baserunner and speedy baserunner aren't necessarily one and the same.