CHICAGO -- The statistics would indicate differently, but White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez doesn't consider 2012 close to one of his best Major League performances.
"Like I said, this is probably one of the worst years that I've had," said Ramirez, through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda, of his fifth big league season. "It's just something that I'm definitely, I feel like I'm a little bit off at the plate. When the offseason comes up, all I'm going to do is work a lot harder to get back what I've had."
Ramirez had a .279 career average and an average of 17 homers and 71 RBIs coming into this current campaign. He also had a high-water mark of 14 stolen bases back in 2009.
Following Friday's 3-1 victory over the Rays, Ramirez was hitting .269 with nine homers, 72 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He also has solidified his status as one of the best defensive shortstops in the American League.
Those numbers are not the basis for harsh self-criticism from Ramirez, whose White Sox team has an 8-1 record during games in which he has gone deep.
"Even though the numbers are similar to what they have been in the past, it's more so that I know I can play better than what I have," Ramirez said. "I'm more upset with myself because I know I can do better than what I'm doing."
Ranking 10th in the AL via a .336 average with runners in scoring position, Ramirez has struggled just like every other hitter with RISP over the last 11 games. The team is hitting .119 (10-for-84) in those situations during this stretch, with 75 left on base, leading Ramirez to admit the idea of trying to do too much with the season slipping away has played in his mind.
"I really can't speak for the rest of the guys," Ramirez said. "I do say that I get a little bit anxious when I get up to the plate. Then, it's just trying to help the team, trying to help us win. It's something I have to control a little bit more."