Ramirez expects long run for Pirates

Retiring third baseman plays final regular-season series

Ramirez expects long run for Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Aramis Ramirez has come full circle, and now he is about to close the circle.

Ramirez played his first Major League game on May 26, 1998, as a 19-year-old third baseman for the Pirates. This weekend, he will end his career as a 37-year-old third baseman, once again with the Pirates.

However, Ramirez, who announced his retirement plans earlier this year, looks forward to a lot more games in a Buccos uniform beyond this weekend's regular-season-ending series with the Reds at PNC Park.

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"We have a good team. I'll be shocked if we don't have a long run in the playoffs," Ramirez said on Friday night prior to moving into what have been his regular homes since his July 25 return to the Pirates -- the hot corner, and the cleanup spot in the lineup.

"So I'm not looking at these as my final games. We have a long playoff run remaining."

Ramirez has achieved a lot of distinctions during his career -- his 1,386 RBIs as a third baseman are third-most all-time, and his 381 homers at the position rank third -- but he hopes to lose one claim to infamy in the weeks ahead.

Ramirez's RBI single

Entering weekend play, Ramirez has played the third-most games among active players without a World Series appearance. His 2,192 games trail only Torii Hunter's 2,370 and Ichiro Suzuki's 2,354.

He has been in the postseason three times, most recently in 2008 with the Cubs -- Chicago's last postseason until qualifying this year, to meet the Bucs in Wednesday's National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser.

Touching all the bases

• First: According to manager Clint Hurdle, the team has already held "internal conversations" about the makeup of the 25-man roster for the Wild Card Game, which does not have to be announced until 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

• Second: Starling Marte (30 steals and 18 homers entering Friday night's game) is two knocks shy of becoming the fourth 30-20 man in Pirates history (Barry Bonds, twice; Jason Bay and Andrew McCutchen).

• Third: The Reds have lost their claim to going longest without a last-place finish of the 122 franchises in the four major sports, having clinched their first basement finish since 1983; in that span, the Bucs had 12 last-place finishes.

• Home: The Bucs are in "danger" of losing their distinction as a team that won 95-plus games while leading MLB in errors; the A's have taken that lead, with 122 miscues to the Pirates' 119, entering Friday.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.