The Cubs' best third baseman since Ron Santo said he isn't sure why he gets criticized by fans and the media.

''You've got to ask them [why],'' Aramis Ramirez said.

Asked whether it bothers him, Ramirez said: ''Not at all. My dad

always told me that the worst mistake that you can ever make is to try to make everybody happy. That ain't going to happen. There's always going to be people that don't think you're a $1 million player; there's always going to be people that don't think you're a $100,000 player.''

Never mind a $15 million or $16 million player.

But whether you're an unabashed fan of Ramirez's 81/2 seasons of high production for the Cubs or a critic who believes he doesn't run out enough fly balls or drives to the wall, try picturing the left side of the Cubs' infield without him.