Alexei Ramirez's new extension could keep him in Chicago through his age-34 season and the 29-year-old Cuban says he may want to stay in the Windy City longer than that. Ramirez now feels comfortable with the White Sox and with life in Chicago, so he hopes to stay for the rest of his career.
"When I first got here, I felt like I was at home," Ramirez said through interpreter Lou Hernandez on a conference call with reporters yesterday. "I felt like I was in Cuba."
Chicago doesn't resemble Cuba in April or May, but Ramirez says people in the White Sox organization help him feel at ease. Manager Ozzie Guillen helped him adjust to life in the big leagues over the course of his first three seasons by showing confidence in him and sharing observations about playing shortstop in the majors.
Ramirez's double play parter, Gordon Beckham, doesn't speak Spanish and Ramirez is still learning English, but Ramirez says he has developed a rhythm with Beckham.
"Aside from not speaking the same language, we get along really well and we're getting to know each other's styles on the field," he said.
Ramirez says he has adjusted his offseason training program to include more weight training and less cardio. He knows opponents will adjust to him and he intends to follow up his Silver Slugger season with another solid campaign at the plate. Ramirez has put on muscle - he's sure of it - but ask him how much weight he's gained and he can't tell you, since he hasn't stepped on a scale this winter.