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The best thing – the only good thing – about an off day? The Cubs can’t lose to the Astros today.

  • The Mets will consider moving David Wright. He’s been out for a bit with back problems, but if he comes back and is dealt this year, it won’t be to the Cubs. The only chance the Cubs would have to land Wright would be in the off-season, and even then, it’s debatable whether they should. He’ll cost a haul, he’ll make a huge salary in 2012 ($15 million), and his numbers have been on the decline.
  • Speaking of trades, MLBTradeRumors put together a nice rundown of possible Cubs’ trade candidates, should they become sellers. Marlon Byrd is the only obvious omission.
  • Aramis Ramirez got a few stitches yesterday after taking a hard grounder off the face (Cubs players’ faces = magnets for balls this year, apparently). He’s not expected to need a trip to the disabled list.
  • Matt Garza had a successful side session yesterday, and he’ll have another one this weekend. If that goes well, he’ll start in the Cincinnati series thereafter.
  • In one column, Steve Rosenbloom calls Carlos Zambrano “certifiably crazy,” “stupid,” “Thor,” over the “mental speed limit,” “idiot” (twice), and “village idiot.” Seems a tad unprofessional. His ultimate conclusion – that Tom Ricketts might be asleep at the organizational wheel – is fair, however.
  • Ryne Sandberg felt it was necessary to leave the Cubs’ organization if he was going to get a chance to coach/manage in the big leagues. It also appears increasingly likely that he was never seriously considered for the Cubs’ managerial opening. Given how things have played out, that’s probably a good thing.
  • Carlos Zambrano didn’t just break a bat over his knee the other day – he also broke Tony Campana:

  • Chris

    It’s become obvious that Steve Rosenbloom doesn’t like brown people.

    • Ace

      He’s definitely had some questionable comments in that regard before. I also just think he hates the Cubs.

  • willis

    He jumps on any chance to bash the Cubs, and that’s ok because they deserve it. But to go off on Z seems curious because as it stands, Z is the absolute last of our problems.

  • EQ

    Zambrano is consistently one of the best hitting pitchers, has a career 3.50 era, and averages almost 14 wins a year since 2003 (last 8 seasons) since he’s become a full time starter. Why all the hate? Just because he shows emotion? Thank God someone on this team shows some… The media has created a monster out of him and he’s been a good pitcher for the Cubs.

    • hardtop

      agreed. he’s a lot better emotionally now, than he’s been throughout his career. i have the pleasure of knowing one of his team mates a little better than “casually”, and team mate claims Z has changed significantly. He was wrong about the bat though, and he was wrong to not agree with Quade that he shouldnt do it again. We need him, and on this team where crazy stuff happens all the time (like leading the league in batting average but being 8 games below 500), he could get hurt by something like breaking a bat over his knee… less likely he would hurt himself breaking campana ;)

    • Michigan Goat

      The hate is because he’s paid to be an Ace and NEVER been one.

      • EQ

        PLAYER 1
        2003 : 13-11 3.11 era
        2004 : 16-8 2.75 era
        2005 : 14-6 3.26 era
        2006 : 16-7 3.41 era
        2007 : 18-13 3.95 era
        2008 : 14-6 3.91 era
        2009 : 9-7 3.77 era
        2010 : 11-6 3.33 era

        PLAYER 2
        2003 : 3-3 3.61 era
        2004 : 14-8 5.43 era
        2005 : 18-5 3.79 era
        2006 : 14-11 4.40 era
        2007 : 5-8 6.29 era
        2008 : 22-3 2.54 era
        2009 : 7-4 3.39 era
        2010 : 12-9 2.83 era

        Player 1 is Zambrano, Player 2 is Cliff Lee.. Zambrano has 16 more wins since 2003, and a lower ERA.. My whole point is that the perception is that Big Z is nowhere near a top pitcher… I’m not saying he’s Roy Halladay or Josh Johnson, but his bad reputation has people under estimating his effectiveness. He has statistically been one of the winningest pitchers in Cubs history and has statistically been a top 10 pitcher in baseball the past decade..

        Here’s a list of the top ERA’s in baseball from 2000 – 2009.

        1. Pedro Martinez — 2.99
        2. John Smoltz — 3.04
        3. Johan Santana — 3.11
        4. Roy Oswalt — 3.13
        5. Brandon Webb — 3.24
        6. Jake Peavy — 3.25
        7. Randy Johnson — 3.25
        8. Roger Clemens — 3.34
        9. Carlos Zambrano — 3.48
        10. Roy Halladay — 3.49

        • Ace

          I like the point, but one note: it’s been suggested the Lee made dramatic changes to his approach before his breakout 2008 season. So, when folks talk about Lee as a stud, they’re really talking about him 2008 and after.

  • EQ

    true… interesting stat – Big Z has a better career ERA than Greinke, Sabathia, Josh Beckett Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee and Chris Carpenter. He has 1 less win than Carpenter with 4 less years pitched & more wins than all the rest of them.

    Funny how those guys are all considered certifiable aces and Zambrano is looked at as an overpaid #3 at best by most of the “experts” out there.

    • Ace

      Is it bad if I’d rather have just about any of those guys going forward than Z? He’s been great, but I’m not sure how much longer he can hold it together. That’s probably shitty of me to say.

      • hardtop

        its bad to want some of them, obvioulsy the younger guys you would want going forward, knowing that Z’s ship has just about docked. carpenter at 36? i’d rather have Z… if for no other reason that he’s been good to us: his numbers show he’s given us some amazing years, even if it doesnt always feel like it.

        • EQ

          exactly… it doesn’t feel like it.. the numbers shocked me too.. but you punch your catcher, try to throw and up out of a game and beat up the gatorade cooler and everyone thinks he sucks.. I agree his best years may be behind him.. and 18 mil is a ton of money, but if he can get 14-15 wins this year and next, and bat .300, how do you get rid of him unless the offer is too good to pass up?

          • Ace

            To be clear on one thing, he’s not going to hit .300. As good of a hitter as he is – *for a pitcher* – he’s still a career .240 hitter with a career .641 OPS. Better than most pitchers, but he still barely out-hits Koyie Hill.

        • Ace

          That’s why I made sure to say “just about.”

        • Michigan Goat

          In terms of being an Ace… It’s more than career stats it’s about leadership, consistency, control. Z is a roller coaster and is not the type of pitcher you want in game 7 and that okay until you pay him to be an Ace and expect him to be a top 10 Ten Pitcher. That’s why it’s so frustrating to look at his career stats.

          • EQ

            True,,, and like the end of last year, he dominated when it didn’t matter anymore. I guess I’m just trying to say, as far as a top 3 in the rotation guy, he’s hard to beat.. I just hear so many people rip him like he’s taking up salary space and not producing. I just want people to see that he has produced, maybe not to the level we had all hoped, but he hasn’t been a bust and I would not be up for us just getting rid of him.. 14 wins and a mid 3’s ERA isn’t that easy to replace.

            • Michigan Goat

              I agree he is not a bust, BUT he is a bust for 18m a year. We could find someone to replace those numbers for less than 18m. It is the contract vs Z production that I have a problem with. If there is someone who can eat some of his contract then trading him is the right move.

              • EQ

                agreed

  • Jeff

    It’s not just the experts. Most Cubs fans were ready to run him out of town last summer, I admit I thought it was worth looking into. I can only imagine how bad this year would be without Zambrano. Not only his performance, but his attitude, and passion for the game. I love seeing a player like that, even if it costs the team a bat or a water cooler or 3 every now and then.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    “Cubs players’ faces = magnets for balls this year”

    Yeah… that’s an understatement. The Astros put their balls on our faces, the Pirates, the Mets…

    2011: The Year of The Teabag

    • Ace

      Snap.

    • Michigan Goat

      Perfect, good to see we can still laugh… Even when it’s so true.

  • al

    teabag…!! when can you reference teabag with the cubs…well said sir!!

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