Today’s loss was ugly. So was yesterday’s. And the day’s before that. And so on.

But today’s loss was a blown Carlos Zambrano start – those tend not to end well, and today was no exception.

“The problem wasn’t Pujols,” Zambrano said after the game. “The problem was the [Ryan Theriot at bat]. We should know better than this.”

“We played like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing, embarrassing for the team, for the owners, for the fans. Embarrassing. That’s the word for this team. We should know better than this, we should know better than we did on the field. We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter. We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That’s all I’ve got to say.”


This is from a guy who’s been nothing short of a model teammate and player for almost a year now, and one for whom you know it’s harder than most to keep his mouth shut.

But this isn’t just a case of “Z being Z,” blowing up in an inappropriate way or in an inappropriate amount.

This is Zambrano calling a spade a spade. The 2011 Chicago Cubs are not good at baseball, which is, unfortunately, the sport they’re charged with playing.

Injuries haven’t helped, but – with the 20/20 goggles on – this was a flawed team from the outset. A pitching staff full of threes, a middle reliever crew of rookies and has-beens, a closer who’s good at everything but converting saves, a lineup of aging and declining bats, and a coaching staff of rookies.

If you were looking for the moment that the 2011 Cubs jumped the shark, this is it. There’s no doubting that they’ll be sellers at this point.

  • Jeff

    That was the most honest statement I’ve heard from a member of the Cub’s organization since Steve Stone got chased out of Wrigley. Just kidding, It was spot on though.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Listen..this is all hendrys fault..this team is fucked for along time!..were going to be fixing hendrys problems for a longtime to come..unfortunately the cubs have to play through it..I was going thru the archives and came across a couple of cuban players we signed in JAN
    27Cubs sign Rubi Silva and Yaniel Cabeza how are they doing

    • Lou

      Hendry’s problems??? Try Sam Zell’s overvaluing of the team before selling and tying the new owners hands with BAD CONTRACTS.

      • Michigan Goat

        Yes he definitely inflated the value of the team by signing large contracts, but Hendry could have used that money in more productive ways and done a better job building this team. Its time for Hendrys reign to end regardless of what was or wasn’t his fault. It’s time to gut and move forward and I hope the new regime will look 5 years into the future, and not continue the reactionary nature of this club. Maybe the right move is to sign no major contracts next year and look a couple years inyo the future before we make the next big signing.

        • Cheryl

          I agree. The major contract sigings have been the cubs undoing. However, do you also mean not trading? Unfortunately in order to get something you have to give up something. Zambrano deserved better. If he can be dealt to a decent club in need of a front-line starter it would be best. Get some first rate prospects in return and get someone who knows how to manage as manager. I wouldn’t mind seeing Sandburg come back as GM but I doubt he’d want to become involved in straightening the organization out.

  • Ace

    Cardinals gave away the final game four to the Giants (to rest the pen,) who will be in postseason, so they could beat the Cubs, who won’t see postseason, to feast on GREAT BRAGGING !!

    • Ace

      For the record, different “Ace.”

      • Cardfan

        As if it wasn’t painfully obvious!

        …still trying to find my recipe for GREAT BRAGGING. Can’t have a feast on it if you don’t know how to cook it.

      • awesome


      • http://Bleachernation Bric

        Well this answers the question of how things could possibly get worse. This is truly the worst baseball the Cubs have played in the Hendry era. So far out in the standings, so far under .500, so poor in every phase of the game, so little chemistry, so hog-tied to useless contracts, so far in debt and over budget, so appethetic from the fans… and now Ace’s own name has been usurped right out from under him on his very own web site. It can’t possibly get any worse.~ Sincerely Ace #3

    • Ian Afterbirth

      Was that Google-translated from Japanese???

  • Serio

    I hope the owners were listening

  • Dan

    Thank You Z! This was right on the money! I’m so glad that Big Z is doing a better job with his temper and he has pitched very well as a result. But I don’t think this is a meltdown…….this is the truth! And to all you blaming Jim Hendry, you are wrong! He gets the players, but they make the mistakes and play the game! You were all on his side when he got some of these guys, and now you’re jumping ship?! Sellouts! Being a fan, especially a Cubs fan, means “riding the rollercoaster”…….either be a fan or don’t…..bunch of armchair over-critical pussies!

  • Hendry

    yes Hendry gets the players, the wrong players who play like AAA. guess you want to keep things as they are, bad, bad, bad. get to the playoffs now and then, lol.

  • Steve

    Exactly who are the players”? If you mean the over-valued, over-paid guys that are signed to excessively long contracts, complete with player-controlled no-trade clauses…yeah, you’re right. These are the “players” that Jim signs. Your head is, obviously, in the sand.

  • Brian

    I hope Zambrano stays on the team for at least another season. He’s one of the most entertaining players and gives the media comments that us fans wish we could vent to a national spectrum about.

    Btw…. I crack up every time I see that pic of Z snapping Campana like a bat!

    • Ace

      I made that picture with my own two hands!

  • al

    im going back to wearing my zambrano t shirt!!! GO Z!!!!

  • Tanner

    !00% agree with Z. He has had a pretty good year, and he is talking the truth, is he okay?! This team is horrible, and we all know it, but yet we still watch them. Die hard Cubs fan but this just sucks. Going to be a long summer, just waiting for DA BEARS season to start.

  • Dave

    Wanna bet Z is a Yankee in about 6 weeks time?

    • Ace

      Don’t tell the Yankees.

  • DieHard

    Zambrano calling out Quade for calling pitch and Marmol for throwing it…bye bye Z…and good riddance…Now if he had criticized Quade for costing Cubs a dozen games for not keeping Castro at lead off and for not playing small ball, then he would have been spot on…bye bye Quade soon

  • TSB

    Zambrano supposed to be the crazy guy. He’s talking the best sense in the Cub organization. Make him the manager, a latino Billy Martin

  • awesome

    basically he said the same thing as he did with the run in with Lee. only this time he was calm about it.

    it’s not his job to rip his teammates, in fact you should never rip your teammates, that’s Quade’s job, and Quade didn’t say jack shit. having said that, Z is one of the guys who wanted Quade back.

  • pfk

    I usually get upset with Z when he does this – but not this time. He is 100% correct in his analysis. I hope this leads to more than a Z suspension. I hope it leads to an internal examination of the organization and a plan to make corrections and improvements to be among the elite. I won’t say what changes should be made (we all have our ideas) but change they must.

    • Ian Afterbirth

      I agree – this was an actual “leadership” sort of rant. Perhaps our little Z is growing up and learning the difference between a tirade and a call to arms (or whatever – I sat here trying to think of the right term for 2 minutes)…

  • willis

    There’s nothing wrong with what he said. He actually told the truth, something that no one from the top on down ever does. There is no leadership on this team so for Z to step up and say something is 100% fine with me.

    And he should be pissed, he was dynamite against one of the best teams in baseball, and Marmol blew it for him, 6 days after blowing a 3-1 lead in the 9th. I would be fuming if I’m Z.

  • Ken

    Thanks Z. You are spot on. One correction though. The Cubs play more like a AA team, not a AAA team.

    • Ace

      I think the Cubs’ AA team is better than their AAA team, though…

      • Andrew

        Having just watched the Cubs AAA team last Friday, I’d say that the AA team can’t be any worse than the major league team or the AAA team. Bad baseball at a couple of levels in this organization.

        • Ace

          Simultaneously very discouraging and encouraging.