Requiem for a Zombie

My acquaintance with Carlos Zambrano goes back to his teenage days when he would sit near our seats behind the plate charting pitches between starts for the I-Cubs. He wore stiff new jeans and his hair was oiled to a sheen. Over the years he exhibited an almost womanly fussiness about his hairstyle, as unsure apparently about that particular aspect of himself as he was about the whole.

In those days he routinely signed autographs there in the stands for kids, including mine, who had no idea, either of who he was or who he would become. Neither, really, did Carlos.

I was there the night he couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead in Game One of the 2003 NLCS. That stage was too much too soon. He was barely old enough to buy himself a drink in Chicago then. The thinking was that he would grow into maybe the stoutest #3 starter in baseball behind the twin bell cows of Prior and Wood. Instead he ascended to the role of ace through attrition and was paid accordingly though, to my mind, he never earned an ace’s salary.

That’s not to say he wasn’t ever worth the rising prices of admission. I remember a game I attended with my two sons in 2006 when Zambrano was facing the Mets. After reaching first in a scoreless game by beating out an infield hit with nobody on and two out in the bottom of the fifth, he stole second practically standing up. At the last possible instant he fell back into a graceless slide that looked to have broken his ankle. When he got to his feet and dusted himself off we were sure we could see him grinning from hundreds of feet away. It was the only stolen base of his career to date. Juan Pierre grounded out to end the inning but Zambrano eventually beat Tom Glavine that day to run his record to 9-3 for a team that was 35-55 at the time.

Years later my eldest was in the bleachers the day when Zombie, as we liked to call him, got ejected and retaliated by ejecting his ejector and trying to throw the ball clear into the left field seats. I was listening on the radio and as soon as the phone rang I knew who it was.

My feelings about the trade to the Marlins are mixed. I’m glad the Cubs are rid of the tantrums and the declining performance (he hasn’t thrown 200 innings since 2007) but I will miss the buffoon too, I must confess. I will not be surprised if he wins the NL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2012, but I would have been if he won it pitching for the Cubs. The Ozzie y Carlos Show should be lively in Miami. Let’s face it, we and the Cubs have neither seen nor heard the last of the mercurial man-child. He may have lost a step on the base paths along with a few MPH on the fastball, but when he makes his return to Wrigley, if he gets on they better hold him close.

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Comments

That stage was too much too soon.

2001: 158 innings
2002: 117 innings
2003: 214 innings, plus 16 more in the post-season

I remember how gassed Z looked, almost defeated, in those playoffs. Hell of an effort though.

I'll miss the good times.

nice eulogy Mike :)

thanks, rob...

I was at sox game when he went after dlee.

Farewell you crazy bastard

Remember when he was young, his arm was a gun
Farewell you crazy bastard
Now there's a look in his eyes, like black holes in the sky
Farewell you crazy bastard
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze,
Come on raver, you seer of visions, come on you pitcher
you puncher, you quitter, and shine.

Awesome

Welcome my son, welcome to Theo Epstein

Shipping away the players that made up the old days

DAB I assumed your favorite song would be "Money" :)

Do another verse to 'Pigs' off the Animals CD when they dump Soriano, and I'm a fan for life. Nicely played.

I recall the rancorous debate that went on at the Trib's old pre-blog site in the early 2000's about who was going to be the better long-term pitcher, Zambrano or Juan Cruz.

>>...who was going to be the better long-term pitcher, Zambrano, Ruben Quevedo or Juan Cruz.<<

Added for complete historical context.

I have to admit I thought Quevedo would be a solid Kevin Tapani type of pitcher back in those days. Just didn't have the discipline to stay in shape.

Well written, Mike! Good job!

thanks, lou...

As I said in the last thread - he was my favorite player.

He was right when he said "We stinks!". The team was embarrassing to see. But a professional cannot call out his teammates like that. A star employee cannot do it at a corporation. Only the owner has that power when talking about his employees (See: Jobs, Steve from the recent biography).

But I remember Z in a particular game when he hit a home run, and also bunted for a hit. I loved him because he reminded me of the old-school football players who played offense and "D".

A real throw-back and a great athlete. HEard he is a terrific soccer player, too.

Many times here we wanted him to bat in front of the likes of Hill, Theriot, Soriano, John Mabry, Tony Womack, Mike Restovich, Cesar Izturis, and even Jacque Jones.

Good luck Z! Just not against us.

https://twitter.com/CSNMooney

bunch of quotes from Theo on trading Z

Theo: "Every player that I talked to articulated to me that Carlos had really violated their trust."

Theo: People who've been around the situation over the years have heard before that there's going to be change and they've been burned.

Theo: This wasn't just a sort of mob mentality. There wasn't unfair momentum to run this guy out of town. This was a legitimate situation.

whatever mental situation he put himself in when he put on that uniform it sure as hell was a total opposite of the guy in street clothes.

shame he never learned to meld the 2 together...especially with one of the most laid back yet professional 3rd basemen in the game hanging out on the bench with him for so many years.

Is he trying to make an example out of him? To be honest, being banished to Miami doesn't sound all that terrible.

The last game I saw that Z pitched was such a picture of why it was always interesting to see a game with Z in it. It was May 3, 2009 vs. the Fish. Z was pitching nice and easy that day. He led off the bottom of the fifth inning with the game tied 2-2. He beats out a drag bunt, pulling a muscle in his leg in the process but starting off the inning with a runner on first. Two of the next three batters reach, loading the bases for D. Lee who unloads a grand slam into the center field batter's eye -- 6-2 Cubs. The Marlins scratch out two more runs off the bullpen but the final score is 6-4 Cubs. A perfect, sunny Sunday afternoon game to see with my son. I understand and agree with the move but I will miss the guy. He's the closest thing we'll ever see to what it must have been like to watch the Babe early in his career with the Red Sox.

Some funny BoSox storie w theo and nomar the conspiracy theorist

http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/01/05/a-...

Link is in the tweet box, but BA has a write up on the trade. Says it's $15.5m headed to Marlins which would jive with making the salaries equal out.

Story I saw says the money is TBD based on Volstad's final arb figure. Whatever he gets (or agrees to outside arby) will be subtracted from $18MM and the remainder sent to Miami. It's unlikely Volstad gets more than $3 or less than the $2.4 I think he got in 2011, so I think this 15.5 they're floating out there is a guess.

Regardless, from the Cubs perspective it simply means this is a salary-neutral move. Not that we should give a shit at this point whether the Ricketts are saving some money or not.

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 5:50pm — Jim Hickmans Bat New
Re: Requiem for a Zombie
Story I saw says the money is TBD based on Volstad's final arb figure. Whatever he gets (or agrees to outside arby) will be subtracted from $18MM and the remainder sent to Miami. It's unlikely Volstad gets more than $3 or less than the $2.4 I think he got in 2011, so I think this 15.5 they're floating out there is a guess.

Regardless, from the Cubs perspective it simply means this is a salary-neutral move. Not that we should give a shit at this point whether the Ricketts are saving some money or not.

===========================

JIM H: Chris Volstad is first-time salary-arbitration eligible, so he will probably get somewhere around $2.5M.

Seems Byrd will be at Cubs convention, guess he's not being traded soon.

"“For Kids Only Press Conference,” presented by Advocate Health Care, with Darwin Barney, Tony Campana, Reed Johnson, Todd Walker and newcomer David DeJesus facing questions from a room of pint-sized reporters."

is that sum todd walker? why, yes it is.

also, volstad at the convention...good for him.

haha... awesome

"According to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine, the Cubs have spoken to eight AL teams about Alfonso Soriano."

working working working...thank god someone has signed coco crisp already.

Sappelt/Johnson, Jackson, DeJesus.

The 2012 Cubs starting outfield following trades of Soriano and Byrd.

garza re-up'd...fielder signed...lahair in LF...140 wins...world peace...cars run on water.

Dr. Aaron b rejoices!!!!!!!

That would be awesome. Then I could drive to and from Asia. Of course, they'll have to figure out how to get some fueling stations across the Pacific. It'd be total ass to run out of gas on the way.

can you name those eight teams? guessing is fine.

Senators
Naps
Spiders
Browns
Knights
Pilots
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
New York Mammoths

"The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings"

awesome.

Soriano in LF for the next 3 years - 125+ games.............OR......Coco Crisp 2 yrs/$14M? And death is not an option.

What is Bryan LaHair, alex

Great work, Mike! Very apt. I'll miss the competitor, but not the psycho.

can you name those eight teams? guessing is fine.
---
1. Mets: After Madoff repays every penny he ponzied from the Wilpons
2. Redsox: Just to prove Nick Cafardo is a turd
3. Mariners: They just realized he spent a few seasons in Japan
4. Nationals: If they could be sold on Jason Werth, why not Alf?
5. Texas: They once traded A-Rod for him?
6. Orioles: Still hankering to collect Cub souvenirs?
8. Whitesox: Adam Dunn in short center field at Wrigley?

@JoeStrauss Joe Strauss
Dave Duncan is Stepping down as Cards pitching coach.

Rosenthal says it's a leave of absense - to be with his family.

What's he doing in January?

taking care of a wife with cancer.

Would an offseason consisting of:

1. Fielder for 7/154
2. Beltran for 3/39
3. Kuroda for 2/18
4. Chase Headley for Szczur, Cashner and Junior Lake

Would that have been enough to make 2012 worthwhile? Would you have supported such an offseason?

We wouldn't have the World Series with that so no I wouldn't. I'd rather have long term success then feel good by winning a few more games.

Not to mention I bet Fielder is holding out for 10 years and what Boras wants, Boras gets.

We could still compete long term while improving on the field now. I would have definitely been on board with it.

I don't understand how people don't think we can do both.

Sinking too much money into a few old dudes (outside of Fielder) when your team is bad almost everywhere and still won't be able to win a World Series just to appease fans is not the way to build long term imo. Giving Fielder 10 years is also not the way to go. Do you really want another team bogged down by Sorianos just to get a few more wins this year?

My thinking is that none of those guys would block any of the mythical Thoyer prospects we'd draft this year.

I have a feeling many of these gung ho rebuild people won't be so gung ho if we are still awful come 2014.

Just a hunch

I have a feeling many of these gung ho rebuild people won't be so gung ho if we are still awful come 2014.

Well, duh. Personally, I'm hoping for Fielder, but I can totally understand hesitancy to sign him...and certainly to sign Beltran or Kuroda. Yeah, I want them to spend money, but that doesn't mean that I want them to sign whomever happens to be the best available FA, especially if it potentially cripples their future. You know, it's just possible that they don't think Fielder will be worth the years or money that he is commanding...not that they're unwilling to spend money or incapable of spending and rebuilding in tandem.

at this point i just hope they don't give away garza for anything but a 2013-ready-at-worst front rotation SP or power hitter...if they get rid of him.

I realize I'm in the minority, but I feel last year's team was a healthy Wells/Cashner & good coaching staff from being at least .500, so adding those players would have improved our team--which I feel is what a team should do every year. And I don't see whereas those contracts would've prevented growth either.

I want no part of laying down for a few years so we *may* compete in 2015.

I think the 2012 Cubs are just a Fielder, Reyes, Cj Wilson and Edwin Jackson from competing.

Short of that, the FA moves are a waste of time for 2012. At least the spending spree before 2007 they got guys in their late 20's/early 30's. Wanting to sign Kuroda, Beltran, Aramis is all kinds of wtf.

I agree. The only major free agent that made sense for this team is Fielder, but at 7-10 years he's far from a must-sign. In fact, he's not helping them do jack or shit this year, so the signing would be a gamble that a) he'll be worth his salary in the future (plus what was spent on him while rebuilding) and 2) that he's so good that no one similar to him will become available in the next few years. Granted, I personally would like the gamble because a) he'd make a good face and personality of the new franchise and 2) it's not my money.

I don't see how we can accuse them of being unwilling to spend money - maybe they are, but after only a few months, I'm willing to wait and see if it's moreso an attempt to spend wisely.

And I agree with that. There are a lot of people here who "get it." what's interesting to realize is that it may very well be the opposite of what a lot of detractors here argue . . . What I mean is, if anything, it is Theo likely talking Ricketts into the current scenario, not Ricketts telling Theo not to spend. The safe bet and typical model would be to pay for a "star" or two and play the role of a contender. There is no way Ricketts is comfortable with a possible crap team and drawing 1.2 million in attendance in 2012 or something. The hard thing to do is what they ARE doing. I 100% think they are breaking the leg and resetting the bone. Yeah it hurts but they want a championship. Period.

any GM who talks himself out of money to spend on his team should be dragged out in the street and...umm...fired

besides, any team looking at clearing up the amount of payroll the cubs are after the 2012 season is under little to no money constraint when it comes to a major contract for any talent they wish to pursue.

You're making it sound like his idea was Theo telling Rickets that he didn't want to spend money. I think the idea is more along the line of:

Owner: "Sign a big name so I can sell tickets."
Good GM: "I will when there's one I want."

My emphasis would be on your last phrase:
...for any talent they wish to pursue.

"What I mean is, if anything, it is Theo likely talking Ricketts into the current scenario, not Ricketts telling Theo not to spend."

aside from that, there's plenty of ways to build this team and only so many players to trade away who will actually impact the team with immediate returns.

well, that "so many players" is 1 player...garza...unless they want to trade mcnutty and some other higher end kids for a trade-up gamble.

marmol has worth, but at his price level he's not going to fetch any front-line starters or power bats.

the 2012 offseason for power bats that aren't older is pure ass. they gotta fill that hole somewhere.

there's a lot of ways to approach taking care a power bat and having 2 front line SP's...they have 1 front line SP, but he might be going soon.

But in this hypothetical conversation that none of us are privy to, Theo doesn't say, "No money, please."

If I'm understanding correctly, the owner wants a big name to sell seats and put on t-shirts or whatever. He would therefore want a big signing regardless of how it actually helps them win. In this made-up convo, Rosa Eptein takes a stand and says "No way, Jose...I won't Hendry this team with Sorianos just to sell tickets and lode up your moneybags. I'm going to wait for the right motherfuckin' time, beotch!" he says "Give me my money, but let me spend it how I when I want...beotch."

And by "Lode" of course I'm referring to the game Lode Runner.

with as much gold as that dude has he could have gotten pujols and fielder.

for all we know fielder is in the hunt 100% but they won't go more than 5/6/7 years on him or something. walking away from 8+ i don't mind/blame.

we don't know what's going on. for all we know ricketts is telling theocorp they have to do with less and that's part of why he hired the supersuit crew.

etc.

Exactly, we don't know anything.

Maybe Rickets is limiting the payroll. Maybe there's money, but Theo is biding his time. Maybe they offered Fielder a contract, but he ate it. We don't knows shit. But, I only see one major FA this year who is young and is a fit for the team. The fact that the Cubs haven't signed him (yet) doesn't prove anything about the new regime.

All I do know is we stinks last year and we'll probably stinks this year.

i'm not worried about 2012, myself.

unless they pull an ARZ-2011 it's probably not in the cards even if everything clicks based on where things stand and the statements coming from the powers that be.

i am worried about 2 front-rotation starters, 2 middle-lineup power hitters (and we may have one in house in lahair...or stewart if you like that flavor kool-aid), the lack of available power hitting next offseason that's not 30+ years old, the possibility of getting rid of garza, and just how much loot is available for 2012/2013...

there's about 100 scenarios i can mix all those concerns into...but leaving that alone, that's the bare bones of what i care about going forward. theocorp has lined up a full selection of 3+ year club control 3-5 pitchers and they have a decent core of support bats outside of the black hole of offense at 2nd.

I agree that you guys don't know shit :p

^This^

Why is it WTF? And why should Fielder, Edwin Jackson, and a Wilson be too far fetched for this franchise to get?

All I'm saying is the team going into this year has age with ARAM, Byrd, Soriano, Dempster, etc... Mostly whom will come off the books by the time this great draft crop is ready to come up; so why not continue trying to compete while positioning yourself for the future instead of collecting a bunch of stiffs and dumping salary.

Well I would say...signing Beltran to 3/$39 mill is wtf because he'll be 35 in April, and last year was his first full season since 2008. It was a solid season, but 3 years for 22HR, 84RBI and a multitude of leg injury issues?

Because its already an old and declining team that can't play defense. Chances of getting 1 good year out of them is slim enough, to count on 3 is like betting on 0 at the roulette table.

This team hasn't completed in 2-3 years and trying to turn it around with more of the same is serious goofiness. Soriano is going to be older and worse, Ramirez is going to be older and worse, Byrd is going to be older and worse, Beltran is going to be older and worse and Barney just sucks.

Instead of signing big name free agents this season (other than Fielder) I would rather they just give the money to Soriano to go away.

If we are tanking and can make a one time payout. I would be OK with that.

Unfortunately that contract is going to be an excuse for us to not spend any money until its gone.

I base this on nothing, but it seems that Soriano's future is linked to Fielder. If Fielder is signed, Soriano stays (assuming they can't get someone to take on a portion of his contract). If Fielder isn't signed, they will cut/trade Soriano eating all of his contract in 2012.

Again pure speculation on my part.

I'm honestly fine with Soriano platooning with LaHair in Left over the next 3 years. (assuming we can't trade him)

At the least it should provide us with a good platoon offensive spot for that 18 million plus 400K.

I would rather they pull his future salary expense into the 2012 budget especially since, as you have pointed out previously, we have room.

Same here.

I am really curious what the functioning payroll will be from here on out. Especially beyond 2012.

Are we really clearing everyone out because we plan on having a 100 Million dollar payroll ceiling?

I don't think so, but I don't think they are interested in spending money just to spend it. While they seem willing to sign Fielder, under certain terms, there is little reason to spend money on players like Beltran or ARam. This is especially true when the money saved can be used to solve future a problem.

"Are we really clearing everyone out because we plan on having a 100 Million dollar payroll ceiling?"

The Cubs are not saving money by clearing people out. Zambrano is gone, but the best deal they could make was to pay $18 million for Volstad. Soriano will be gone, but his $18 million will be on the books three more times. You could argue that they liked Ramirez but didn't want to pay him, but I don't agree with that first part. (He's too old and not a real 3B.)

You keep referring to a situation that doesn't exist: the Cubs are selling off their expensive veteran stars. They're not stars, and the Cubs are getting little or no payroll relief.

Sean Marshall.....gone
Aramis Ramirez....gone
Carlos Pena....gone

That is 27 million off of last years payroll right there.

Except that half of Pena's 2011 salary is deferred to 2012, so he's not off the books just yet. The Marshall deal saved a million or so, so basically it comes down to what they do with the money they paid to Ararmis last year.

and Fukudome

And John Grabow

C_Zambrano38 Chicago will always have a special place in my heart and I will miss it Dearly!!

C_Zambrano38 To all my fans and the city of Chicago! I love u guys and I thank u for all ur support! I've always played with passion and I played 2 win!

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=...

From a Pavlis article, this awesome video:
Volstad throws behind Nyjer Morgan, who charges the mound and gets laid out by the 1B. At about 1:45, you'll see on the replay that Pat Listach goes and takes down Voldstat. I'm sure they'll have long forgotten about this by the time they sit on the bench together. (Listach is still a Cubs coach, right?)

Theo's first headache

Castro accused of sexual assault

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/06/source...

40 wins. Yay! I hope its just a gold digging skank. Ugh.

1 win this season. By forfeit. (Z makes Marlins miss game b/c flight grounded after he punches flight attendant and destroys beverage cart)

Okay, I am the last person to defend a guy in this situation (I have a Masters in Social Work etc), but these circumstances are very bizarre.

Just curious . . . Because the woman says she was blacked out at 3am after heavy drinking and awoke with Castro "sexually assaulting" her. That's odd because I know of people of course doing many physical activities while blacked out by their own choosing. So assuming she wasn't asleep (which is a big assumption), or roofied, couldn't she have easily been the initiator of sexual activities and a willing participant during her black out?

Again no idea what the report says beyond that. Charges have not been filed however . . . Just a very ODD set of details so far.

Or she passed out and he was trying to play with an incapacitated girl?

Yeah, that's what I said - if that's the case bad news. Just saying it's an odd description. 'Blacked out' - was her description, not 'passed out'. Just very odd.

Damn lack of patience strikes a Cubs hitter once again

Haha... Awesome.

First, ugh. But second, the reporter doesn't seem to think it'll stick, judging by the vernacular used.

So (hopefully), meh.

updated statement on Castro from the Cubs

The Cubs released the following statement in response to the allegations:

“We are aware that a police report was filed regarding an incident involving Starlin, but we have received limited information. While this is something we take very seriously, there is not enough information to make any further comment or take action at this time. We are hopeful when the facts are brought to light, Starlin will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”

and a statement from Attorneys representing Starlin Castro,
Jay K. Reisinger and Michael P. Gillespie:

We are aware of certain allegations that have been made against our client, Starlin Castro. We have thoroughly investigated this matter, and we are confident that these allegations are baseless. Given the sensitive nature of this matter, we cannot comment any further.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/06/...

"Baseless" is one of those keywords attorneys use when they don't want to say the claims are "false". It's sort of like saying "you can't prove it". I know, I know... this is all conjecture on my part- Welcome to the interwebs.

Reisinger's bio, big name in PED player defense:

In 2009, Mr. Reisinger represented New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in Major League Baseball's investigation into his use of performance enhancing substances and other related legal matters. He continues to represent Mr. Rodriguez on other legal issues. In 2008, he, along with partner Thomas J. Farrell, represented New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee's investigation of Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, and continue to represent Mr. Pettitte in related legal proceedings. In 2006-2007, he and Mr. Farrell provided legal services to numerous current and former Major League Baseball players and team employees targeted in Senator George Mitchell's investigation regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs. In 2005, he, along with Mr. Farrell, advised Sammy Sosa during the U.S. House of Representatives Committee's Congressional Hearings on steroid use in Major League Baseball.

http://www.farrellreisinger.com/jay-reisinger...

here's the other atty's (Michael P. Gillespie) website. Looks like his father is the firms founding senior partner...

http://gensonandgillespie.com/the-firm-history

slightly more detail on the Soriano trade talks with the Orioles from Roch Kubatko, apparently not much developed:

For what it's worth, I've heard from an industry source that the Orioles and Cubs discussed a trade involving Alfonso Soriano. It may not have gone far - FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted yesterday that the Cubs couldn't find a match for Soriano after talking to "a few teams" - but that's the scuttlebutt.

http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2012...

The Castro incident is going to potentially grab headlines with the Cubs Convention coming next week. Maybe this will unintentionally have an effect on Theo triggering a move before he wants to?

As we all know, Hendry timed his signings so they would happen prior to the Convention.

Seemingly, this would/could divert some negative publicity with a hot signing.

As a father of three girls, I take a dim view of date rape, or "unwanted" sexual advances of any kind. However, these things are almost always hard to prove, particularily well after the fact. It is stupid to go to someone's place to "party" when you are a vulnerable chick. Just fucking dumb in the first place.

Since the Duke Lacrosse incident, however, I now wait until ALL facts are revealed before I form my own solid conclusions in these matters.

"Hendry timed his signings, etc."

Sure, if you don't drive a hard bargain and you throw around NTCs and the like, you can make a signing or a deal happen any time you want.

True DAT.

I am just saying that to divert some negative publicity, Theo may be "encouraged" to make a signing of substance before je would like to.

This is what sucks about the legal system though. Chick knows she can simply make the allegation, and even if baseless, the high profile athlete/politician/businessperson whatever will pay $$ to make the problem go away. It's a money grab, plain and simple, and such lowlifes target these guys from the get-go. Granted, the target should be smart enough to recognize this and keep his zipper zipped, but alas, they think fun first and consequences second.

Speaking of brain power, I wonder if the alleged victim's lawyer is smart enough to realize that Castro hasn't even reached arbitration yet, he doesn't make the big bucks. I'm betting the answer is no.

I'm totally with you on the dim view bit. I remember what it was like to be a dirtbag in college. Now I'm a father of a 10 year old daughter.

Hopefully this is just a misunderstanding. But generally where there is smoke, there is some level of fire.

Can we please cut all the "let's think about the good times with Z crap?" So overrated.

How about this? 4 playoff starts, 0-1 record. No more than 6.1 innings pitched. And in the only quality start, against the DBacks in 07, he got pulled with the score tied 1-1 after throwing 85 pitches. 85! I called him a pussy then, and I stand by it. Spoiled, cowardly, never won a big game. Maybe a fine #3 guy, but notwithstanding his talent, he is no better than that, and shame on so many of you for treating him like he was ever any kind of an ace. Aces deliver, and Z never did.

speaking of cowardly, there's calling 6-5" Zambrano a pussy on an Internet site

Bwahahaha

Sure, he could beat me up, and, oh yes, he abuses water coolers (last I looked they they do not hit back), but he can't throw more than 85 pitches in a playoff game, he is too "overwhelmed" by the big moment" to come through when it matters, he retires when things aren't going well, and he is obsessed with his hair.

To me, that's a pussy. If you prefer coward or choker I'm happy to go with that.

Good riddance.

I believe that was Lou "managing" when he pulled Z.
I blame Lou

I blame Micheal Barrett

Lou pulled him out to save him for Game 4, Z wasn't happy about it.

Raping an intoxicated woman is cowardly. Pitching in the major leagues is just playing a game for a lot of money. If you're concerned about his real character go check out all his charity work.

If Z was such a "warrior" he should have put up a fight. He fights about other much less important things. He was happy to come out.

Yeah, he should have punched Lou. That would have went over well.

I'm actually not concerned about whether he is a philanthropist.

I am concerned about all the folks on this blog, including you, who refuse to acknowledge that he was a spoiled, unreliable, and underperforming teammate. You can mourn his loss all you want, but I don't have to join you.

He's Manny Ramirez without the production.

Thank you for your concern. But, seriously, I'm okay. You can stop worrying now.

Don't worry about me or us other folk, I think we're very comfortable celebrating his Cub career and understanding that it was best that he moved along.

I'm more worried about people that draw conclusions on a person's character from what they do on a baseball field.

and no you certainly don't have to join us.

I'd kind of prefer he didn't join us................just sayin'.

A successor to TRN has emerged.

He's got a ways to go yet, but he's off to a nice start! He hasn't yet shown the ability to hurl epithets at the other commentors on this board, but by showing up with a good "pussy" accusation against Carlos, he's showing that he may possess an 'insult' tool that will develop as he 'matures', so to speak. We'll have to watch carefully as this young talent develops.

+1

BUT, if he's over 30 or down to his last year of arbitration, I guarantee Rob G will trade him to BCB for pitching depth

Corrected:

BUT, if he's over 30 or down to his last year of arbitration, I guarantee Rob G will trade him to BCB for bitching depth

I like Zambrano fine as an outsized character on the baseball stage, but I have reservations about him as a Cub, so I'm not unsympathetic to what RI Mike is saying.

For example, I never enjoyed watching Zambrano pitch. Too wild; and what's with the minimal windup, like he's playing long-toss or hurrying to make a long throw from third?

(I blame some of it on Rothschild, by the way.)

While doing anything but pitching, Z was exciting to watch.

I'm sure Randy St Claire will straighten him right out.

I know, how presumptuous of me. You, of course, have seen him at soup kitchens and domestic violence shelters, and I have been left to try to evaluate him on this tiny sample:

2004: Screams at Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds as he rounds bases after home run onto Sheffield Avenue, then ejected for hitting Edmonds a second time. Zambrano: "I don't have to apologize to anybody. This is not a baby's game. This is a man's game."

April 2005: Taunts plate umpire Dale Scott after being ejected from Opening Day start in Arizona. Zambrano: "At that moment, you want to kill the umpire."

June 2007: Dugout fight with catcher Michael Barrett spills over into clubhouse. Barrett ends up in the hospital.

May 2009: After ejection, Zambrano impersonates umpire by giving him the thumb, then hurls a ball toward left field, attacks Gatorade cooler with a bat. Suspended six games and fined $3,000.

September 2009: Rips Cubs fans for booing him after an erratic outing. Zambrano: "I thought these were the greatest fans in baseball. But they showed me today that they just care about them, and that's not fair."

June 2010: Engages in heated shouting match with Derrek Lee in dugout at U.S. Cellular Field, leading to suspension and anger management counseling.

February 2011: Announces in spring training "I'm cured" because of anger management counseling.

June 2011: Calls out Cubs as "'embarrassing" and a "Triple-A team," while throwing Carlos Marmol under the bus for giving up game-tying hit to Ryan Theriot on a slider.

August 2011: Serves up five home runs in 10-4 loss to the Braves, ejected for throwing at Chipper Jones, cleans out locker and announces his "retirement." Cubs subsequently place Zambrano on 30-day disqualified list, without pay.

So glad you are here to show me the error of my too judgmental ways.

As TRN might have said, sample size is everything!

so glad you are here instead of talk radio...

to each their own, you don't like the guy, I don't care. But calling someone a coward or pussy from their computer is cowardly and being a pussy.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/743...

So Fielder officially out, Rizzo in. Cashner going is a bit of a surprise.

Opening day payroll 90 Million........Over or under?

Op70m!!

One wonders how much Cashner's shoulder issues played a part in that decision.

I'll try to remember that next time you call someone a lousy hitter even though he is a better hitter than you are. Is that brave?

So many rules . . .

what is my questioning the relative value of a guys ability to other major leaguers have to do with this? If you find one example of me questioning a player's character over their performance in a playoff game, I'd love to see it.

you called Z a coward and pussy for how he pitched in the playoffs, find some perspective and look in the mirror.

The guy had a temper, did some unfortunate things, also did some good things as a Cub. Unless your Mother Theresa, chill with the moral superiority act.

"In other news, today's Bears game is going to be about as meaningless* as the one in 2006 when Grossman shit his pants in the finale against the Pack and then they still went to the Super Bowl. "

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2011/01/02/greg...

damn, you got me!!!

yeah, I really hated Grossman (not at all actually).
/sarcasm

I've never made a judgement about a player's performance and what they are as human beings. I've never believed that it takes any type of courage to be better in more important games or situation or playing any sport. Guys get lucky and talent usually prevails. Yeah, Michael Jordan took the big shots, he also worked the hardest and was somewhat of a jack-ass off the court.

as for my "shit the pants" comment it was meant that he had a really bad game (he did that a lot), not that he cowered under the bright lights of a meaningless Sunday night game and couldn't handle the pressure and thus is a weak human that I should mock. He is/was bad at football, not a bad person or morally inferior to me or the vast majority of humanity.

What is your stance on Mark Prior's lady parts?

total pussy :)

I think he shredded his shoulder and no amount of toughness or mental fortitude was going to get him back to his dominating self. The fact that he's still trying 5 years later is actually pretty impressive.

Agreed,

I thought it was a negative indictment on the franchise that they seemed to question him at every turn. Especially after he did finally have the surgery and we found out the extent of the damage.

McFails strains and sprains crap turned the fanbase off of one of the most talented guys to ever wear a cubs uniform.

And sad

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