MILWAUKEE - Using his forum at the first major off-season event on the major-league calendar, the agent for Aramis Ramirez blasted Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly for ripping his client in a radio interview as Ramirez prepared for free agency.
``For a broadcaster to come out and say that, I think it was very low class,'' agent Paul Kinzer said Monday as the annual general managers meetings opened in Milwaukee. ``Especially when a guy's a free agent, to try to damage his [value]. ... That bothered Aramis and bothered me a lot.''
Brenly, during an interview on ESPN 1000's Waddle and Silvy show the week after the season ended, called Ramirez a ``numbers gatherer'' who doesn't hit in the clutch and whose fielding at third base has ``just fallen off the face of the earth.''
``I don't know if it was a personal attack or what,'' Kinzer said. ``But if he had a personal problem with him, he should have come to Aramis or me instead of trying to destroy him in the media. ... The whole time we've been there, it's been a great relationship [with Cubs management]. Why a broadcaster needed to step out and do that I just don't get it. You can ask his managers; they don't feel that way. You can ask Jim Hendry, who was his general manager the whole time; he doesn't feel that way.''
Brenly, who also said during the interview he thought it was best if Ramirez left for another team, did not immediately return a voice message Monday night.
Ramirez, who spent the last 8 ½ seasons with the Cubs, earned a Silver Slugger award for his position this year, when he hit .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs. He's a career .299 hitter (.916) OPS with men in scoring position and .353 (1.003) with the bases loaded.
``How can you say he's not a clutch hitter?'' Kinzer said. ``They don't give Silver Sluggers out to punch-and-Judy hitters.''
Kinzer, who also represents free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal and free agent pitcher Matt Capps said he expects all three to be signed by the winter meetings (none with the Cubs).
He seemed optimistic that Ramirez's market would gain speed once Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols signed, especially since Ramirez isn't looking for more than a four-year deal.