Apparently Carlos Zambrano has relapsed. Heading into this season Zambrano was praised for being a changed man. After finishing the 2010 season on a dominating streak, Zambrano credited his time in anger management as the reason for his successful turnaround. Hopefully, the Cubs did not loose the phone number of Zambrano’s doctor. The Cubs were on a five game losing streak heading into Today’s game, and Zambrano put the Cubs in a position to snap the streak. However, a game tying double by Ryan Theriot in the ninth inning, followed by another walk off home run by Albert Pujols in the tenth inning has put the Cubs at a new low. It also was enough to remove the censor from Zambrano’s mouth, as Big Z once again showed his temperamental side.
After the loss, Zambrano had harsh words for the Cubs as well as teammate Carlos Marmol.
"“The problem wasn’t Pujols,” Zambrano said. “The problem was [Theriot’s] at-bat. We should have known better than this. We are playing like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing. Embarrassing for the team and the owners. Embarrassing for the fans. Embarrassing, that’s the word for this team.”“We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter,” Zambrano yelled after turning in the direction of Marmol’s then-vacated locker. “We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That’s all I’ve got to say.”"
My initial reaction is thank you! The way the Cubs have been playing this past week, it is about time that one of the veteran players call them out on it. Despite his controversial past, I have no issues with what Zambrano said. Zambrano is not lying when he says “this is embarrassing”, “we are playing like a Triple-A team”, and criticizing the pitch selection to Theriot. There would be reason to be mad if Zambrano went on one of his rants that were not true, but that is not the case. For that reason, I applaud Zambrano for what he did. Of course it may not have been wise for Zambrano to take a shot at Marmol, but, Zambrano took issue with the pitch selection and not Marmol in particular.
With this rant, expect trade speculation to start up once again. One thing that has been on display during the past few seasons under general manager Jim Hendry is that he does not take too kind to his players criticizing their own team in public. The first case was Milton Bradley, who was traded after a seasons worth of detrimental comments. Then there was Carlos Silva, who was released after taking shots at the Cubs’ pitching coach and getting into an altercation with Aramis Ramirez. So will Hendry follow suit and trade Zambrano?
I’m sure that may be Hendry’s intention. Zambrano is pitching well enough to warrant a team giving up a healthy amount of prospects for him. But if Zambrano continues to go on rants like these–despite, how honest they are–teams may be hesitant to pull the trigger on any trade. Though, with the Rothschild connection in New York, the Yankees still could take a chance.