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Crew's struggles won't make Ramirez reconsider retirement

MILWAUKEE -- Aramis Ramirez never envisioned the Brewers being 10 games under .500 less than three weeks into the regular season, but he's sticking by his decision to retire later this year.

"This is going to be my last year, regardless of what happens," said Ramirez, who hit his first home run in Thursday's win over the Reds. "Regardless of what happens to me and regardless of what happens to the team. That has nothing to do with my decision. I've already made my decision, and this will be my last year."

Ramirez opened the season in the cleanup spot but quickly fell to fifth, then to sixth in manager Ron Roenicke's lineup. Ramirez entered Friday batting .167 (9-for-54) and had yet to work a walk. Of the 178 Major Leaguers with enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title in the early running, Ramirez was one of only four yet to walk.

Thursday's home run, part of a 4-2 Brewers win that snapped an eight-game losing streak, was a starting point, and Ramirez was pleased to be healthy after fighting lower body injuries in each of the past two seasons.

"It's not working right now," he said, "but all I can do is show up and keep trying."

The same goes for the team.

"We're struggling in every aspect of the game," Ramirez said. "We're not pitching well, we're not hitting well, we've made some errors. We've got time, but we need to start playing better baseball."

There was urgency to his speech, because Ramirez has been around long enough, and played for enough losing teams, to understand the mathematics involved.

For example: At 3-13 entering Friday's series opener against the Cardinals at Miller Park, the Brewers could play at a 100-win pace (.617) for the next 30 games, and still find themselves with a losing record.

"It is hard, especially in this division," Ramirez said. "That's part of the reason this is so frustrating, because we're playing the teams we're supposed to beat [if they want to win the division]. We're playing St. Louis, Cincinnati, the Pirates. Those are basically the only teams we've played so far. We should be playing well against these guys and we aren't."

He added: "We're talking about a 162-game season, so there is time. We have to pick it up."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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