First Star – Jake Peavy (.225 WPA)
Second Star – Carlos Quentin (.168 WPA)
Third Star – Alex Rios (.084 WPA)
It’s hard to know where to go from here with Carlos Zambrano. I was actually looking forward to his start against Peavy. I felt like it was one we could win if he could pitch the way he had in his last outing against the Angels. Safe to say that he didn’t quite reach those heights on Friday. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, take a look at the video before MLB takes it down:
Let’s start with the obvious. It’s unacceptable to act this way, despite the fact that Bob Brenly (who I typically really like) said it was good to see someone have a little fire on this team. No Bob, there is a difference between having a fire for winning and acting like my 4 year old son during an anger induced temper tantrum. Zambrano didn’t show fire. That was rage and it’s not appropriate under any circumstances on this team, especially not directed at Derrek Lee for a ball that even Juan Pierre said he could not have gotten to.
Now the question becomes what to do with Zambrano. Jim Hendry suspended Zambrano indefinitely after the gane and said they were fine playing with 24 guys. There really isn’t a way of handling a player like they do in the NFL where you can “Keyshaun” them and just not dress them. I did find this nugget in the Collective Bargaining Agreement:
Physical abuse or threats directed to members of the media (and/or official scorers) by baseball personnel will not be tolerated. Disciplinary action, including fines and suspensions, will be considered in any cases that arise.
When Zambrano left the Cell, it was reported that he was verbally abusive to camera crews covering the game. That should be enough for some sort of discipline from the league. But the issue still remains as you move forward.
Phil Rogers says “It’s hard to imagine the Cubs would release Zambrano, swallowing all of his contract. But they really should put him through waivers and see if any team would touch him for the waiver price.”
If you think Hendry has never put every member of this team on waivers only to pull them back or see them go unclaimed, you’re nieve. Rogers is better than that and I’m surprised he doesn’t know how the system works. The fact is, why would anyone want to take a player like Zambrano, who has more issues than anger, for the price he’s at? They will simply wait for the Cubs to get desperate enough to release him and then swoop in at league minimum to take a chance.
Al Yellon took the opinion:
Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry, the ball is squarely in your court. Jim Hendry has been a players’ GM and has often gone way beyond where most managers of workers would go with bad behavior. He finally stood up to Bradley’s bad act last September. It’s time for him to stand up to Z. Thanks for the no-hitter, Z, and a few years of fine pitching which are way in the rear-view mirror. But it is time for you to play baseball elsewhere.
What Al doesn’t provide is a way to make that last sentence happen. It’s all fine and good to say that Z has to go, but how is it going to happen? There is going to come a time, sooner rather than later, where Zambrano is going to do something so ridiculous that the Cubs can’t help but release him. Every day that passes, the amount owed to him decreases. I’m just not sure we’re there just yet.