Game #76 Preview / Zambrano Update

Before tonight's game against the Pirates, the Cubs announced that Carlos Zambrano will not be back with the club until after the All-Star break. He is going to be placed on the restricted list and will undergo treatment for "his anger issues," as Sullivan wrote in the Tribune.

Zambrano's "indefinite suspension" will end with the conclusion of tonight's game. When he's moved to the restricted list, the Cubs will be able to fill Zambrano's roster spot and Jeff Stevens is going to be recalled.

The Cubs lineup against lefty Paul Maholm—against whom the Cubs have a team OPS of 858 in 11 encounters—follows. 

Cubs  vs. Paul Maholm (4-6, 4.24; 6-1, 6.29 all-time vs. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Colvin 9, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Ramirez 5, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Castro 6, Wells 1

I can't seem to find the Pirates batting order anywhere. Maybe after losing 17 road games in a row, you give up on that lineup stuff altogether and just have the players draw lots as the game proceeds.


It's interesting that he won't be allowed to see the team until he's reinstated. This reminds me of when they did everything but hire Johnny Cochrane to throw the kitchen sink at Sammy and smear his name before running him out of town.

Next we'll hear that Z bit the head off a seagull at Wrigley.

I completely disagree. I think getting him "help" that the union, the league, and his agent (and ostensibly, Z himself) agreed to is the best outcome possible from this, other than trading him for donuts and paying most of his salary.

Maybe he really does get his head screwed on straight after this, and becomes a decent pitcher again.

The one caveat I will cede, is a little nugget in a Hendry quote: "He will be required by the agreement from MLB and the players association to follow the directions of the doctors to a tee." (from the link above). Welcome to Hendry's out clause; I'm assuming this is a win for the team, and if he screws up bad enough again, they get some contract/salary relief, which pretty much gives Hendry/Ricketts a "Get out of jail free" card if this doesn't work....

The batting order for your 25-50 Pittsburgh Pirates (who would be 18-48 were it not for our Chicago Cubs):

Tabata 7, Crosby 4, McCutchen 8, Jones 3, Milledge 9, Alvarez 5, Doumit 2, Cedeno 6, Maholm 1

More on Zambrano from Carrie Muskat on Twitter (@CarrieMuskat):

"Z will be evaluated in NY, starting Wed by MLB & Players Association approved doctors for anger issues"

Anger management~~@#$%
Z has every right to be angry.
He stinks. The Cubs defense stinks. They don't score any runs.

Frankly, Hendry and Piniella need to see a shrink more than Z does. They've blown this totally out of proportion--- probably to cover up the shitty jobs they're doing. And so far it's working. The despicable Chicago sports media has taken the bait and is crying for Z's head on a stick when they should be running the two fat tubs of goo out of town instead..

Go Chicago Media Go

who knows what it is...just hope it's settled soon...

You're talking about Sosa or Bradley?

"Frankly, Hendry and Piniella need to see a shrink more than Z does."

While I get the glib joke, no, they do not for anger management issues detrimental to the team. What Hendry should get is a friggin' pink slip for allowing this to get re-visited after "Barrett-Gate".

Z has some talent there - enough to be "more than useful" if he didn't have psych issues that screw up his on-the-field performance. I am always reminded of Joaquin Andujar when Z does that shit. I just thought, due to his age when he signed the big contract, that he would have more upside than Andujar.

But he needs some help and personally I do not want to pile on. I am one of the people that think it will be difficult to get decent value for him until he improves.

Ahh, Joaquin Andujar. It seemed like every game he started he came out wearing his big gold necklace, which the umps would make him remove after a pitch or two.

Agreed. I'm tired of the lowered standards for players. A lot of these guys would be AAA players on many teams. And the "stars" we do have are underperforming.

if you can find Hendry's press conference on Z's "problem" it's the most convoluted double speak since Pravda announcing that a Soviet leader had a cold when everyone knew he was dead.

Game 1 starts, former and future first rounder Gerritt Cole pitcing for UCLA

Z would look great in a Phillie uniform, or a Dodger's uniform, or a Tiger's uniform...or any team that might be in the hunt for a division title. Division title is a must since he has a no trade clause. He needs a change of scenery and it needs to be a team where he is only expected to be the 2nd or 3rd starter. He has been our 3rd starter for 3 years...but expected to be and paid to be the Ace. He just doesn't have what it takes to be an ace, or a leader, or in the spotlight. He's batshit crazy

By the way...isn't it completely "Hendry" to trade low. This is probably the lowest he will ever get...So expect a trade for genius Jim.

Not a quote about the Cubs. But it says something about the situation out there.

“I can tell you this much,” one Royals official said, “nobody is willing to take on payroll. But teams don’t want to deal prospects, either. So it makes it tough to do anything.”

Read more:

Turned on the game - oh, Wells is pitching against the Pirates... I hope CBS isn't in re-runs tonight.

Hope you don't mind, I carried this over from the last thread:

What to do with Zambrano? MLB Trade Rumors is floating a few trade possiblities (not so much rumors as speculation). They include:

==> Zambrano to Houston for Carlos Lee
==> Zambrano to the Giants for Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria
==> Zambrano to Mets for Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo
==> Zambrano to Braves for Derek Lowe
==> Zambrano to Indians for Travis Hafner, Kerry Wood, and Jake Westbrook
==> Zambrano to Royals for Gil Meche, Jose Guillen, and Kyle Farnsworth
==> Zambrano to Yankees for A.J. Burnett

A commenter also floated the idea of:

==> Zambrano to Baltimore for Brian Roberts

Is trading Zambrano the best course of action? If so, do any of these trade scenarios make sense?

I don't think any of them make sense for the Cubs other than A.J. Burnett, and I don't know why the Yankees would do it. And if it means Ricketts has to take on more payroll, I think we can rule that out.

Doesn't anybody else find this whole thing ridiculous for the following reasons?

1. In 2007 Z beats the shit out of his catcher and puts the guy in the hospital. Catcher traded and blamed for the team sucking prior to his departure. Z essentially goes unpunished, does not have to seek help after physically attacking a teammate.

2. 2007-2009 Our fucking manager is hailed as a secret weapon every time his loses his shit on the field and throws a tantrum. A hissy fit, not so unlike Z's except that it was thrown on the field and directed at an umpire--who had no hand in how bad the Cubs were sucking--is given credit for the Cubs turnaround in 2007.

3. In 2010 our fucking manager throws hissy fits during press conferences and essentially tells the press that its the players fault, not his, that the team is awful. He is essentially saying that this is a shitty team. To the press. He is not fired or suspended or fined or publicly reprimanded.

And now, when Z directs the anger that has been encouraged in both himself and his manager--you know, "fire"--at the people who are actually at fault for the Cubs sucking (excepting that Hendry wasn't around to yell at), he is suspended and placed on the restricted list and becomes the media's favorite subject.

Fuck. I hate this fucking team and I hate the fucking sports media even more.

stop making sense...

Talking Heads.

That takes me back.

same as it ever was

same as it ever was

This is not my beautiful house!
This is not my beautiful wife!

All valid points, but I think the key is that he was calling the team out where people could it or not, the establishment doesn't mind shit like this if it's kept behind closed doors....

y'know, like 'roids habits....

(the only counter to my argument is the Barrett part, and fuck him, I never liked him anyway)

No one can see inside these secret press conferences Lou holds...

My question is who looked at the schedule at the beginning of the year, saw Pittsburgh at Wrigley and said

1) Smart money's on the Pirates and
2) I smell a pitchers' duel!!

Stevens will need to bring a friend with him tomorrow.

Even this can't cheer me up.

Can theriot go see a specialist on how to be a lead off man?

He's a great leadoff man -- gets hits with nobody on base, fails miserably with men on base. Where else would you bat him? (other than "not").

What's below the bottom of the barrel?

Heads up move by Lou to not pinch-run for Ram -- terrible dfensive catcher behind the plate, pitcher with a slow delivery, down by a run on a night where a HR is impossible -- why pinch run Fontenot to steal 2nd and actually give the team a chance to tie the game? Remarkable.

Well i guess a team that's lost 17 in a row on the road were due.

Mark Prior working out for teams at USC on Wednesday.

who the hell is mark prior?

Can he make throws across the diamond?

They couldn't find a Linens & Things in the area?

I think they went bankrupt, so no.

Zambrano spoke with Kevin Millar.

Lou said Stevens would come up and also a lefty

Gaub or Russell ?

Submitted by rokfish on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 11:10pm.
Lou said Stevens would come up and also a lefty

Gaub or Russell ?


ROKFISH: Scott Maine is pitching better than either Gaub or Russell -- 15.1 IP, 11 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 19 K over his last nine outings. Russell has given up five HR in five games at Iowa since being sent down, and Gaub continues to struggle with his control.

Maine is one of the two players acquired by the Cubs from Arizona for Aaron Heilman (the other player--1B Ryne White--was released), and while Maine is not on the 40-man roster, neither was Brian Schlitter.

The Cubs 40-man roster is full, but there will be an opening when Carlos Zambrano is placed on the Restricted List. And it's also possible that Bob Howry could get released.

Another possibility is veteran AAA LHP J. R. Mathes, who (if nothing else) throws strikes, and would give Lou a lefty long-man to replace Gorzelanny in the pen. The 28-year old Mathes is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2010 if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by the end of the World Series, and while he doesn't project as as much more than a journeyman 4-A LHSP, the Cubs might want to give him a chance to show what he can do at the big league level after spending the last four seasons at AAA.

...will undergo treatment for "his anger issues,"


==> Zambrano to Mets for Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo

Not a terrible idea if you can swing it. Afraid all those other ideas would get Hendry laughed off the phone.

I'd do Z for Derek Lowe.

That sinker should play well in Wrigley.

That might work. How does Z help Atlanta, though? Unless Atlanta believes Z helps somehow, a deal doesn't get done.

The thinking is that at this point Derek Lowe is a dependable 4th starter.

If a change of scenery cures Z. Then he is a top of the rotation guy. Or at least a good #2.

Plus both guys have 2 years left on their deals. So the money is within 3 million dollars of being a wash.

Right, the Bravos will really want Z after his opening day performance...he already has one win for Atlanta this year

Stevens and Russell up.


this Z stuff is a shame.

i remember when he was a rookie carrying that small kid's backpack out to the pen before he got his permanent shot in the rotation...

...good times.

Obviously a guy struggling to get along with the rest of the team.

The front office handled this all as poorly if not more poorly than Z.

The sooner we get Peter Principle out of the front office, the better off we will be.

Especially long term.

Smokies All-Stars: Campana, Chirinos, Clevenger, Lalli, Wright, Bibens-Dirkx, Cales, Buchter, Chen.

with Cashner and Castro being early contributors as well...

June 28, 2010 - "He has to work things out," Ron Santo said before Monday's announcement about Zambrano's treatment. "He can't take things out on his teammates. That's just unbelievable.

Unbelievable is right.

Jul 8, 1969 - Ron Santo viciously rips into CF Don Young in the media for two misplays in the outfield after the Mets scored 3 in the ninth to beat the Cubs and close to within 4 games of first place.

Santo is booed by Cubs fans in his first game back at Wrigley.
(Which was really really rare back then. I can remember only one other time when Cubs fans booed a Cub player like that during the Durocher years. It was when Adolfo Phillips gave us bleacher bums the finger because he didn't understand our cheering for him in an attempt to show some love when he was having a rough day and was trotting back to position).

Not to mention the dustups he had later in his career with Rico Carty and the feud he had with Dick Allen -- Allen says that's why he left the team two weeks before the season ended in 1974.

Our beloved Ron Santo really was a hotdogin' dickhead and it's probably why he's not in the Hall.

Congrats. The guy played 2,243 games and you found one incident in which he criticized a teammate to reporters following the game and promptly apologized the next day. Oh, and he supposedly didn't get along with Dick Allen, who got along with, well, no one.

Was he a model citizen? No. But what is he supposed to do when journalists ask him about Zambrano, say: "I'm sorry, I know that I am former major leaguer, a former Cub who has my number retired with the team, and a broadcaster who has covered the team daily for years and knows the players, manager, and GM well, but I had some poor judgment after a loss in 1969 and so I can't comment on this incident."?

Why not?

That's either facetious, or just ignorant Charlie.

Well, it was sort of facetious.

But what's to stop Ron Santo from saying to reporters, "Look, plenty of players lose their cool verbally from time to time and turn out to be just fine on and off the field. I did it myself, and I got my number retired." Other than it's Ron Santo and that probably didn't occur to him. I'm sure he didn't think about it that way. The incidents seem comparable to me.

Too much of the press is dancing around the fact that if the Cubs and Z were winning ball games, he could yell in the dugout all he wanted. If Z was pitching well, he could get in physical fights with his teammates.

This is simple scapegoating and what really annoys me is that too many members of the media are playing along.

And, though I don't mean to argue that Zambrano doesn't have any responsibility in getting along with his teammates, but Hendry GMing the Cubs into shitty team no man's land--completely out of it but not even planning for next year--and Lou blaming his players in press conferences and managing everybody into shit moods, those things didn't help this situation either. Who's putting them on the restricted list and forcing them to get "Old, Sloppy, Doesn't Care" and "Can't Admit His Team Sucks" Management?

(I'm sure it's ignorant, too.)

odds that Ron Santo remembers what happened in 1969 that doesn't involve the black cat are pretty slim anyway..

Well, first, because then no one would be able to comment on anything. All of us should stop commenting on Zambrano since I am sure we have all gotten upset and yelled at someone before.

Second, why is it that if you make a mistake you are somehow disqualified from commenting on any future mistakes that occur in the world? Those are the comments I want to read. A good reporter would have asked Santo if he had any special insight into the issue given his past issue with Young. How did his teammates react, how did the apology play out, was he able to patch it up with Young, how much is forgiven in a ML clubhouse as just being in the heat of the moment and where are the lines that can't be crossed, etc. This to me is interesting reading. If everyone who had anything similar happen to them just declined comment, we would learn nothing.

Reading comprehension fail.

What Santo did was worse than what Zambrano did, yet Santo called Zambrano's actions "unbelievable". That's pretty cut and dry, Santo being an ass (again). How could something be unbelievable when he did something even worse as a player?

Argument fail.

Even if you have done something yourself, you can still find it unbelievable that someone else does it. In fact, Santo probably couldn't believe he said what he said either, and felt bad about it afterward. Ever here of the phrase, "I can't believe I just said that."

The entire point of this discussion is that regardless of his past actions, Santo is still entitled to his opinion of the Zambrano situation. And everyone else is entitled to their opinion of Santo and his actions. That's the way it works.

Meaning we get to criticize him for criticizing Zambrano the way he did?

Being entitled to having an opinion doesn't necessarily make whatever that opinion may be particularly defensible.

This argument is dumb.

Like Santo and Zambrano and Hendry and Lou.'t Zambrano have a pretty long history of tantrums...anger issues...fighting with teammates issues? Shall we glaze over this?

Sometimes you need to just realize you screwed up, instead of going down in a flame of nonsense.

Man, that guy high jumped 6 feet, that's unbelievable, even though I high jumped 6'10" and he's a high jumper than I am.

The point of the discussion was that Santo was being a hypocritical old retard. No one said he wasn't entitled to his opinion, or even implied it.

Yeah, actually I'd rather read that too. I'd like to see Santo and others actually try to provide insight, not just condemn. That's what I'd be looking for. It's not like his choices are condemn or not comment at all.

Hell, Brenly encouraged it. When's his suspension coming?

The funny thing to me is that Brenly probably looked at it the way that all the other teams would have. Publicly comment on the guy's "fire," deal with any clubhouse issues internally, keep the $91.5M pitcher on the team and in good standing. He didn't look at his WWHD? bracelet!

Wonder why veteran's committee never voted him in?

Michael Barret to Mets on minor league deal

Today's random lineup generator spits out: Fuku RF, riot 2B, Lee 1B, Ramirez 3B, Colvin CF, Sori LF, Hill C, Castro SS, Lilly P

Z replaces Dave Otto in the booth next year and gets a hairpiece and spends the next 50 years yearning for his glory days

...cue that Springsteen song

Oh, and no HOF for Z either

From Bruce Levine's chat today...

Paul (Denver)
Isn't it safe to say that the Cubs management philosophy over the past 5-7 years is the reason why they're in this payroll, patch a hole with old/overpaid veterans issue(s)?

Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
The reasons Hendry was enabled to sign people to long-term deals was Sam Zell's insistence that they build up the product so he can get a higher buyout from the Ricketts family. Hendry was on an airplane when the Soriano deal was done by other team executives. Jim has to take his share of blame, but let's not start with revisionist history.

Hendry was on an airplane when the Soriano deal was done by other team executives. Jim has to take his share of blame, but let's not start with revisionist history.

Wow. granted that sounds like some info fed to him by Hendry to make Hendry look better now...

Hendry was also on the plane for the Neifi, Rusch, Bradley, Pierre and Fukudome deals.

However he was the driving force behind the DLee and Aramis trades.

And he signed Theodore Roosevelt (Lilly) while on his deathbed!

Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
The reasons Hendry was enabled to sign people to long-term deals was Sam Zell's insistence that they build up the product so he can get a higher buyout from the Ricketts family. Hendry was on an airplane when the Soriano deal was done by other team executives. Jim has to take his share of blame, but let's not start with revisionist history.

There is so much wrong with this statement from Levine.

Soriano was signed in 2006. The Trib didn't even announce that they had accepted Sam Zell's offer to buy them until April 2007. It's absurd to claim that Sam Zell forced Hendry to sign Soriano so he could get more money from the Ricketts. Just insane. But that's exactly what Levine did.

I could go on, but ...yeesh. It's pretty clear that Levine is just repeating what Hendry tells him without even thinking.

And if I'm right about that, Hendry pretty much throws Lou under the bus in that chat.

discussed by Red Sox before acquiring E-Pat

Morosi also says Cubs are "halfway" to sell mode, whatever the fuck that means.

So they'll be to sell mode when their record is 66-86? Might be kind of late then.

throws in Bradley shot for good measure

No, I don't really believe Zambrano needs anger management. He's really one of the happiest people I've ever met in baseball. The other day in Seattle he was cracking the media up with his Lou Piniella impression. Last homestand he serenaded me with his version of "Beat It" by Michael Jackson as he tried to kick me out of the clubhouse. The guy is in a good mood 99.9 percent of the time, but loses it at times during games. If they have a crazy management clinic, I'd send him to that instead. But, no, he's not an angry man. Milton Bradley, however, is the real deal.

To date there have been a lot more people come to Milton's defense than Zambrano's.

Waiting for Big Dave to come by and explain that having a short temper isn't an actual problem, it's just something you decide to do.

Waiting for Big Dave to come by and explain that having a short temper isn't an actual problem, it's just something you decide to do.


One of your theories, don't ask me to explain it.

What the hell are you talking about? I have never said anything of the sort.

Really, Dr. Sullivan? That's your diagnosis? He seems happy to you, so he must be mentally healthy. How nice, and how convenient that it fits your standard narrative (Z as lazy lout).

Meanwhile, nice revisionist fence-sitting re Bradley: spend months bashing the guy as simply evil, but now couch it as though you always recognized him as having psychological problems. Again, how convenient for you.

I swear, I think the only journalistic principle the non-Bruce-Miles Chicago sports media adhere to is the one about the barrels of ink.

Miles was doing the same thing on the Z, deal. They all suck the Cubs' scrotum for "inside" information and become mouthpieces for the organization.

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  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should something like it.

    crunch 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Game is officially called...also officially a tie.

    Stats count, no make-up date of course.


    Rob G. 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.

    billybucks 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • rain delay...thanks obama.

    crunch 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • Thanks again Phil. We actually were in Mesa and drove around. Hopefully, I am back for some Fall League. If not I have all of spring training (like the smart people who move here!)

    rvimpeny 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • What Rob G said.  I can't speak for Piittsburgh, but the other end of the state has had absolute crap weather for two days. Perfect day to take it easy.

    Transmission 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • tarp came off 10 minutes ago...let's do this.

    crunch 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • He will not pitch another game for Cubs

    /Unless injury in playoffs

    jacos 5 hours 24 min ago view
  • ~fart~

    jacos 5 hours 25 min ago view
  • Today is bullpen day

    jacos 5 hours 25 min ago view
  • 10/450 if they win WS

    jacos 5 hours 26 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Even though Hammel is missing start, don't assume he'll not be on #Cubs postseason roster. Maddon says elbow problem isn't that bad

    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Maddon on #Cubs postseason rotation: "I don't want to announce anything. We haven't talked to anybody yet"

    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Maddon hopes Soler can take BP in Cincy, play in sim game Tue. "All of that should give us some kind of indication of where he's at"

    crunch 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • tarp on the field 40 minutes before gametime...meh.

    crunch 5 hours 46 min ago view
  • travel day + rain in Pittsburgh. Why risk injury?

    Rob G. 5 hours 49 min ago view