Despite all the rain, it’s been one of the most pleasant baseball seasons that Miguel Sanchez, chief of the Cubs grounds crew, can remember. Usually he spends around an hour every day smoothing the infield base paths before, during, and after each game.
But this season has seen a decline in the amount of time he spends on the dirt because it stays so tidy around a large portion of the infield surrounding third base, which he credits to Aramis Ramirez’s unwillingness to move for ground balls.
“I’ve seen statues move faster,” said Sanchez with a huge smile on his face. “I want the Cubs to win and all, but frankly, it makes my job a whole lot easier when Ramirez is playing, or standing, at third base. I love the guy!”
The rest of the grounds crew agrees. Ramirez is easily their favorite Cub. On the other side of the story are Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney, two of the most despised ball players on the team.
“They make a complete mess of the field every game, diving and grinding to make every play,” said Craig Milspaugh, who’s gone through the trouble of confronting the two rookies about their overbearing enthusiasm for the game. “I mean seriously, who are these two young punks trying to impress anyway? It’s not like the Cubs are gonna make the playoffs!”
The grounds crew is now in the process of creating an end of season award for the player who keeps the field the cleanest, and there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind who is going to win it.
“We might as well just give it to him now,” said Sanchez, looking through pictures of Ramirez on which to model the trophy. “We plan on naming it after him anyways.”
By Michael Kloempken