Most Cubs fans aren’t going into 2011 with any expectations of post-season contention. There are simply too many question marks. However disappointing this team may look, there is one player who fans can count on having a big season – Aramis Ramirez.

The normally sluggish third baseman has vowed to give full effort in hopes of either convincing the Cubs to pick up his option, or so he can score big dollars in free agency.

“Normally I’ll only give 100% two weeks before the All-Star break through the end of August,” said a yawning Ramirez after waking up from his usual mid-game nap. “I haven’t tried my hardest for an entire season since I was nine years old. It’ll be tough, but I think I can do it.”

Added Ramirez: “I also might steal 50 or 60 bases this year.”

Still, many believe manager Mike Quade has a tough task ahead of him. Both Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella couldn’t get Ramirez to give anywhere near 100%.

“Rammy’s laziness is legendary,” said Quade, who heard about Ramirez back when he was coaching for Oakland in 2000. “I’ve tried spiking his Gatorade with Five Hour Energy bottles and have even crushed up anti-sleeping pills to get him moving, but nothing works. I’m just out of ideas.”

“The fear of losing all that money will be plenty to motivate me,” said Ramirez, who insists he’s going into this season with a brand new attitude and plenty of base-running skills. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a three-hour massage appointment and I don’t want to be late.”

By Michael Kloempken

Michael Kloempken