Leave Carlos Zambrano Alone
Good ol’ Phil Rogers never disappoints. Here’s a bit of his (over) reactionary piece about Big Z’s performance on Sunday against the White Sox.
Get Carlos Zambrano out of here, even if the Cubs have to give him away. He’s not the guy you want as the ace of a curse-busting team, and at this point, it’s wishful thinking that he’ll ever mature into that guy.
Proving that I did not attend Kellogg, Wharton or even the Acme School of Business, I offer this proposition for Jim Hendry: First thing Monday morning, put Zambrano on waivers. If anyone claims him and the $62.75 million left on his contract which runs through 2012, immediately trade him for whatever is being offered, from a bag of balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer.
Wow. You’d half expect Rogers to show up at Wrigley with a loaded shotgun and a scope the next time Z pitches. He writes “If anyone claims him”. Hilarious. They’d be lining up for him.
Zambrano had a great June until Sunday’s game against the Sox. He easily could have 9 wins if the Cubs had any offense for him. Is he the prototypical ace? No. He’s not dominant. But how many of those are there really? Before Sunday he made it to the 7th or later in his last 5 starts. And that’s what he does. He is a very good but not great pitcher. He’s petulant and immature. Deal with it. Half of the time it’s fairly amusing.
Rogers added some more nonsense:
The Cubs are 0-5 in Zambrano’s starts in the playoffs, being outscored 31-15. We’ll dismiss the 2003 NL Championship Series as old news and blame Piniella for lifting him when he was in a 1-1 game against Brandon Webb in the 2007 playoff opener, but his pitching had as much to do with the ugly Game 2 loss to Los Angeles last year as did the four infield errors.
The game from last year that Rogers is referring to? Zambrano struck out 7 in 6.1, allowing 6 hits and 2 walks. Just awful. In 2007 he allowed just 1 run in 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 8. In 2003 he was just 22 years old, in his first full year as a starting pitcher and a guy named Dusty Baker rode him real hard. He had nothing left in the playoffs. And let’s not neglect to mention that the Cubs don’t sniff those 3 playoff appearances without Zambrano.
In conclusion: thankfully Rogers is not the GM of the Cubs and thankfully there are good baseball blogs to read.