Some actual Cubs news to talk about this Monday and of course it isn't of the good variety. If you've given up on the Cubs completely (like I have) you probably missed Zambrano going off on his team after giving up four runs in the first inning to the South Siders on Friday. But thanks to the internet and sports television, you've probably seen the tirade by now. The aftermath has of course been exasperated by the team suspending El Toro Loco (that means the crazy bull) and Z going out to dinner with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen the night following the incident.
Zambranogate (ht: Bleacher Nation) is far from over and with so much of Carlos' contract left it will be difficult to trade him anytime soon. But the most interesting part I, and it seems many of you, think about the story is that maybe Zambrano is just tired of this Cubs team. As I have discussed before, this is probably the worst Cubs team I have seen, and I'm not a youngster at over 30 years young. Let's look at a couple comments that I think might perfectly explain Z's outrage on Friday.
“It becomes a bit of a tired act,” - Jim Hendry
Old Jim only needs to look in the mirror before uttering this statement. Is Zambrano the only to blame for this crappy team? Sure Zambrano claimed at the beginning of the season that his crazy ways were in the past, but when everyone on the team seems to care less about how bad things are going it can only push a guy like Zambrano too far. This year Lou moved Z into the bullpen in order to give them a little leadership to the youngster that were failing early on. That plan obviously backfired, but Z took it in stride, saying he would do whatever he could for this team in order for them to win. While Carlos' antics are becoming a little bit of a broken record, the same could easily be said for Hendry's offseason perpetuity for horrible signings. He's gotten lucky a couple times: Lee, Ramirez, Byrd, but his track record is less than stellar. If someone on this team needs an indefinite suspension, let's look towards the front office and the horrible signings of late.
"This team is horseshit!" - Carlos Zambrano
So we're meant to criticize a player for expressing what we all are thinking? Honestly, I'm happy at least one player on the team isn't playing stupid in the clubhouse. Was the blowup the correct way of handling the situation? Probably not, but what else is going to get this team going? After the game, Lou got together with the team to ask them what they think he can do to turn help manage the team. Isn't that your fucking job, Lou? I've said time and time again that I believe Lou is a great manager, but now it seems that he just doesn't give a fuck anymore. If my boss came to me and asked what I thought would help get more sales (I'm a graphic designer, mind you, not a salesman) I would start looking for a new job. What the fuck do these players know about managing?
“This has been a deadass team for three months." - Bob Brenly
If this was Steve Stone talking about the Cubs I might be a little outraged, but this is a man who is forced to watch the Cubs on a daily basis. This is also a guy that has managed a World Series team, so he might know a little bit about managing a team. Remember when Lou first started he was also known as a guy with a short temper. Where is that guy? He was supposed to be the one that would take the pressure off the players. Now he just sits back, seemingly trying different strategies except for ones that would seem obvious even to your company softball team.
This team has been deadass and has been horseshit. Taking it out on Z for freaking out might be what the Cubs need, but it isn't going to change anything. Sure, Zambrano is nowhere near the pitcher he was when he signed his huge contract, but at least he still cares. I don't care and you don't care, but we aren't getting paid to care. The players are. Lou is. And Hendry is paid to make sure this team has what it needs to win. I've finally accepted that this team needs a full scale overhaul, from it's players to management to the front office. Look what McDonough has done with the Blackhawks in just a couple of years and follow that lead. Look, I love Zambrano and I love Lee, but both need to go. Even though both are the veterans of this team, this year has shown that the old leadership (along with some very bad moves, cough, Fukudome, cough, Soriano) isn't cutting it anymore. Become a young team again, get some good coaching on the minor league level and teach fundamentals.
Finally, this article suggests that Lee might have had it coming. In it Brenly discusses the game last Tuesday in which the Cubs made four errors, two by Lee alone. It's just a small example of why this team is so hard to watch.
“Ever since I’ve been here in Chicago, even going back to the Dusty Baker days, these teams -- and you hate to lump them all together because obviously there’s different personnel every year -- but the same problems keep coming up, poor baserunning, poor defense,” Brenly said Wednesday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “The lack of timely hitting affects every team in the major leagues at one point or another, but it’s the lack of solid fundamentals on a daily basis that really gets to me, and I think gets to a lot of fans.So when does football start again?
“It’s not playing the game the way it needs to be played to give yourself a chance to win.”
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