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“Shocked” Ramirez thinks departure good for close-friend Marmol
MILWAUKEE — The godfather of Carlos Marmol’s older daughter couldn’t believe the news when he talked to the embattled reliever a few minutes after Marmol got the phone call Tuesday telling him he’d been cut loose.
“I was shocked,” said Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez, the former Cub and one-time mentor to Marmol – who thought Marmol’s call to him was about their plans to see each other this week in Milwaukee.
“I was looking at their relievers, and he’s not the only one struggling in the pen. I was surprised that a guy making almost 10-mil, they’d give up on him like that, “Ramirez added. “But I’m not trying to defend Marmol. He was struggling, and they had a reason to do that, I guess.
“But I think it was good for him,” said Ramirez, who talked to Marmol on the pitcher’s drive to Milwaukee – just before Marmol said he planned to turn around and stay in Chicago to await word on the next step in his career.
“It was time for him to move on and go somewhere else and get a fresh start.”
Ramirez doesn’t pretend to know how Marmol went from a 2008 All-Star and record-setting 2010 closer to a guy who took half a season to fight out of a slump last year and couldn’t do it this year.
But he mentioned the public abuse that had become constant for the pitcher in Chicago – a reason management raised as a factor in the timing of Tuesday’s move.
“That’s not fun,” said Ramirez, who experienced booing off and on during his eight seasons at Wrigley Field. “I talked to him a few times and he told me that once he got up in the bullpen, they start booing. That’s your home team. That’s not supposed to be happening at home. … I’m not saying that bothered him. But that’s not fun.”
Ramirez said the fans at Wrigley are different that way than other fans around the majors.
“Yeah, they are. Everybody knows that,” said Ramirez, who didn’t seem to blame the fans. “They’re just frustrated. They want to win. And it’s tough.
“I’m not trying to defend Marmol. He was really struggling. He struggled for a while, for the first 2 ½ months. …”
Ramirez said he’s confident Marmol will find another team this season, echoing the sentiments of Cub players and some of the scouts attending the Cubs-Brewers series this week.
“I’m pretty sure somebody will take him. He’s a guy that throws 94, 95, with a good slider,” he said. “He’s just having a tough year. Hopefully he gets a fresh start and gets a chance to turn it around.
“It’s still early. We’ll see what happens.”