9/11 Ramirez on Q, injury, contract

Aramis Ramirez says there’s no timetable for him to exercise the $14.6 million player option on his contract for 2011, saying the team has other issues that are higher priorities, such as naming a manager. Who the Cubs hire won’t be a factor in his decision, Ramirez said.

“I don’t think a $6 [million] or $7 million manager can make any difference,” Ramirez said Saturday. “You still have to have good players and that’s the key.”

Mike Quade, who took over for Lou Piniella on Aug. 23, has impressed Ramirez so far.

“‘Q’ is good,” Ramirez said. “‘Q’ has a good relationship with everybody. He’s done a great job. You can see he’s on top of the game. He doesn’t miss anything. He communicates well with the players. That’s key with the players.”

Quade has managed in the Minor Leagues for 17 years, so he hasn’t had much experience with veteran players. But Ramirez said they’ve communicated well. And he still knows who’s the boss.

“He’s got the last word,” Ramirez said of Quade. “He’ll do what he wants. He’s just telling you what he’s going to do. He’s not asking you for permission to do it. He tells you that you’re not playing Saturday, he’s not asking you if you don’t want to play Saturday. He’s got the last word.”

Quade appreciated the comments.

“I do what I do and that’s a heck of a lot better than bad feedback,” Quade said. “I talk to everybody. Obviously, the conversations are different between veterans and younger guys but people are people and I don’t think because I’m a young guy or I’m new in town means I’ll just talk to the kids.”

* Bothered by a sore right quad, Ramirez was available to pinch-hit Saturday for the Cubs and was expected to return to the starting lineup Monday against the Cardinals. He has not started since last Sunday when he came out of the game in the eighth and took batting practice for the first time Friday. The time off this week has not only given his leg time to heal but also his left thumb, which he sprained earlier and which continues to nag him.

— Carrie Muskat

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