Chicago Media Hating On Carlos Zambrano and Other Z Bullets

Did you know that Carlos Zambrano’s walk yesterday was the team’s first in 21 innings? If I didn’t know better, I’d call that “embarrassing.”

  • The Chicago media took a decidedly negative approach to covering Zambrano’s comments. Gordon Wittenmyer called the comments a “premeditated rant” from “a guy whose career already has been marked by divisive outbursts.” Paul Sullivan focused almost exclusively on Zambrano “throwing his closer under the bus.”
  • David Haugh of the Tribune took the cake, though. Haugh delivered a rant of his own, calling for Jim Hendry to suspend Zambrano until he could be traded. Yes, there’s a brilliant approach to maximizing trade value – I think we’ve danced that dance before. Haugh went so far as to call Jim Hendry, who is busily preparing for tomorrow’s Draft, at 9:30 last night to bait the GM into making negative comments about Zambrano before Hendry had even talked to Mike Quade, let alone Zambrano.
  • Gene Wojciechowski said a lot of the same stuff as Haugh, calling Zambrano’s comments a “meltdown,” calling a “hypocrite” and a “crummy teammate.”
  • Bruce Miles offered the only redeeming comments about Zambrano, saying that Zambrano is “left looking like the bad guy again because he told the truth about a bad team.”
  • Koyie Hill offered a defense of Zambrano and his comments, and then added: “At some point, you just get tired of saying, ‘All we need to do is play hard and keep playing hard,’ until eventually you just say something else.” Indeed. It’s called not being a robot.
  • I get that Zambrano has been a problematic teammate for many of his 10 years with the Cubs. But the guy has been a model citizen for a year now, and while that may not be enough to earn the benefit of the doubt, it’s enough to earn the benefit of our ears. Just listen to what the guy is saying before trying to turn it into another burn-Carlos-fest.
  • If you want to listen to Z’s comments yourself, here they are. He sounds pretty calm and collected to me:

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

59 responses to “Chicago Media Hating On Carlos Zambrano and Other Z Bullets”

  1. chris

    what are they thinking? Blasting Z over something that should of been said weeks ago?!?! This team is going no where mine as well get what you can for everyone and anyone not named Castro. When I look at the box score’s I pay attention to two players, Castro, because he is the future and Soriano, until he got hurt AGAIN hoping those numbers keep going up so they actually have a chance to try and trade his contract.
    Unfortunately this is all to familiar and can be summed up in four all to familiar words to us Cub fans……WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

  2. Michigan Goat

    Hendry must have great control of the dark side to get the local media to make him look like the good guy in all this. I can see Z traded for another large, under performing contract ala Bradley… Except Z is no Bradley, but Hendry will make it look that way.

  3. wax_eagle

    Lol. Gotta love that someone shows some heart, and maybe even a spark of leadership here and the media throws him under the bus. I realize Z has a temper and that he has a history of blowups, but this wasn’t one of them. No gatorade coolers, catchers or baseball bats were cowering in the corner during this rant. Here are the facts:

    Z pitched well, he only gave up 1 run in 7 IP.
    Marshall pitched well got a hold in the 8th.
    Marmol was hittable in the ninth and gave up the lead.

    When you can’t buy a win, are in a position to win in the 9th with your closer in and still manage to lose I think that the starter has a right to be pretty pissed. Especially when you let a former teammate beat you.

  4. Jeff

    Am I the only one who saw that remark as a slight on Quade and his staff and not Marmol? Z’s complaining about guys being prepared and getting proper scouting reports, doesn’t sound like he’s throwing Marmol under the bus at all. Sounds like he’s calling out an incompetent coaching staff and major league scouting department to me.

    Who cares what the Chicago sportswriters have to say anyway? They are all the biggest bunch of fairweather, bandwagon writers I have ever seen. They are also prone to exaggerated over reactions to the every day happenings of the team. Like we should really care about the reaction of some dumba## who thinks Zambrano should be benched for this. Get real Chicago, Jim Hendry, Tom Ricketts, Crane Kenney; you guys made this bed, you will have to sleep in it. No matter how much you want to find someone or something else to blame this mess on. You can’t throw a guy under the bus for calling out lazy, uninspired teammates, scouts, and coaches, no matter how much they want to, the fans see through this crap.

    1. Michigan Goat

      I thought the same thing, and possibly on Hill if he is the one calling pitches.

      1. Hogie

        Hill called for the fastball and Marmol wanted the slider, according to Hill

    2. Ian Afterbirth

      Exactly.
      All of a sudden I almost hope the Cubs keep him.

  5. jstraw

    Of course, the biggest problem the Cubs have right now is Zambrano making an imprudent comment. By all means, let’s focus a lot of attention on this.

    It’s a sideshow…it’s a new story for the local beat monkeys to chew on for a week. Yawn.

    1. TWC

      It’s so much more entertaining to a sportswriter (or worse, a sports columnist) to write about a bullshit controversy such as this than it is to write day in and day out about a really crappy baseball team.

      1. jstraw

        Maybe they could try something completely new…like asking managers, GMs, presidents and owners real questions.

        1. TWC

          Whoa! What ARE you talking about? If they ask real questions, they might — GASP — get real answers!

          1. jstraw

            Or a bald-faced refusal to answer a real question…which can be almost as useful.

            Look at what’s going on this week…articles on how the debt financing might impact FA signings. But is anyone going to do a piece examining the very nature of the Ricketts’ ownership? NFA. Gutless…unless they smell blood in the water then they get very brave with players and managers.

  6. DieHard

    Quade is problem….he’s a minor league manager….Play Colvin at first and LaMehue at third thru All Star break to see what they can do…Leave DeWitt and Campana in outfield and Castillo at catcher till then also…Castro at leadoff

    1. wax_eagle

      Not exactly wise. Pena should be playing first and anyone else who is moveable should be playing as often as possible. Soriano is on this team for the long haul and should play every day. Dome is possibly moveable if he hits and he should be playing every day too. Hill should be released and the kids should be playing catcher when Geo needs a rest. Other than that it would be lunacy to sit possibly moveable vets this early in the season.

  7. awesome

    we knew who he meant.

    remember the “what manager” answer when told about Quade’s comment to the “media” about his breaking bat over his knee?

    at the same time you don’t rip your teammates.

    1. Hogie

      Your right, I don’t remember anyone ripping Z when he was falling apart. I’m not saying what he said wasn’t true, and it might turn out to be just what the team needs, but there have been plenty of opportunities to bury Zambrano. I’ve gotten in fights with teammates, but I didn’t go telling everybody about it, and I certainly didn’t (openly) blame anything on them!
      I like what he said…just not sure he should have said it.

      Time will tell.

  8. vegascubfan

    Z tells the truth and gets vilified by the Chicago media. I don’t get it. Thank you Z for stating what needs to be said. if anyone else on the team is pissed at Z – GOOD, take a look at the mirror and listen to what the man said.

  9. Ian Afterbirth

    I just read Haugh’s column in full (and left a critical comment) and it sickens me to what depths these “professional” reporters and columnists will sink just to – what? get a reaction? make themselves seem passionate? relevant?

    He actually called Zambrano’s statement (which was given sotto voce btw) an OUTBURST.

    Please.

    Thank you Ace, for having a place where we can mourn the Cubs’ season with dignity and honesty.

  10. jim

    The problem is not Big Z. It stems from a minor league manager not being able to handle major league players. Let’s face it, everyone knew we should have gone young & Quade won with vets over Rookies last Fall. The writing was on the wall when castillo batted .700 & Hill hit below .100 (1 for 26). Quade wants vets around him. His worst quote to fan criticism was “BRING IT ON”….well baby “Q” you got what you asked for. Any elementary student who plays little league baseball would have said don’t pitch to Pujols. You did it 2 days in a row. The stories today should be about your mistakes & Big Z’s comments are the real truth. Then for quade to say I will let the team handle the Big Z comments is a cheap way out as you want to be one of the Boys. I always remember Pete rose’s quote:
    “You can’t play big league ball with little league bats”.

    For those who didn’t like Ryno as manager need to look at his accomplishments. He is 35-21 leading the Phillies AAA Iron Pigs to a 1st place showing. Ryno has won 2 MANAGER of the year awards in AA & AAA & if he keeps up his pace this year we might be saying 3-PEAT. Ryno would have been perfect to make this a youth movement.

    There is a reason why Quade spent 20+ years in the minors without one team knocking on his door to manage even on his misleading 27-13 record.

  11. Butcher

    Z remains one of my all-time favorite Cubs. This recent “rant/outburst/tirade” only helps cement his place in my own personal Cubs HOF.

  12. Michigan Goat

    The following article perfectly sums up Quade’s problem: He is afraid of standing up to vets and wants to be “one of the guys”

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110601/sports/706019764/#

    1. jstraw

      That article is right on the money.

  13. willis

    Not only has he been a model citizen, he has lost one game in about the last…I’m too lazy to look it up but maybe 20-25 starts?

    1. jstraw

      Wins and Losses are a meaningless stat that even people that KNOW THAT reach for when they conveniently bolster a position. People that KNOW they’re a worthless metric need to stop trying to have it both ways and just stop referring to them as though they’re meaningful.

      Just sayin’

      1. willis

        Maybe so, but it’s still impressive, especially playing for the team he is playing for, that he has only one loss in a long time. I’m definitely not saying wins and losses are most important or anything, simply that when you think about that, it’s kind of awesome.

        1. jstraw

          They aren’t important *at all*. They’re meaningless.

      2. Bric

        All statistics are meaningless. They’re just numbers. This isn’t fantasy baseball or some video game. It’s up to we humans to decipher them. But more often than not for pitchers, wins translate to exactly what they are- wins. It’s not rocket science and It’s no coincidence that almost every playoff team has good pitching, which means- shocker- more wins than losses. Usually a lot more. Sometimes over analyzing all of the stats, which baseball is full of, only works here in the blogosphere. Good pitching wins. And the numbers (all of them) prove it.Winners win, and losers lose.

        1. jstraw

          A pitcher’s effectiveness can be measured. Statistics are the data. Wins and losses are a really crappy measurement of a pitcher’s effectiveness because they’re so thoroughly polluted by the impacts of run support, defense and bullpen effectiveness.

  14. JR

    I appreciate the fact that Z always plays with heart and hustle. I am thankful that he cares. I think he was right last year for calling out the lack of defense that, unfortunately, got him suspended. And I think he was right yesterday calling out this joke of a team and its coaching staff. While I appreciate the sentiment that you don’t throw your teammates under the bus, there’s a limit to that. And certainly it was reached long ago here, with the two-plus years of excuses and enabling older, overpaid, mediocre players from the fair critique that they are failing at their job and appear not even to be trying very hard. And what really sets me off is that Hendry/Piniella/Quade have set up this country club atmosphere and Ricketts has failed to do anything about it on my dime. Ricketts jacking up of ticket prices at his first opportunity now makes it impossible for me to sell tickets that I can’t use because of the plummeting interest in this joke of a team and the ridiculously high prices for any game that generates any interest. My only consolation, when I can endure watching a game in real time, is listening to Bob Brenly.

    1. Ian Afterbirth

      Where’s Lou Boudreau when you need him???

  15. Brady

    Love the outburst. At least somebody on this team still gives a damn.

  16. Ramy16

    They’re talking about trading big z? If this is true..iam thru with the cubs

    1. EQ

      Me too.. he’s hated by the media, yet the only one who seems to care about winning.. he’s also been very good this year, outside of a few starts, he’s pitched like an ace.. For a team with so many needs, why get rid of a producing pitcher who cares about winning?? Wake up media! You guys are a bunch of self-absorbed, pompous idiots sometimes.

      1. Hogie

        To be fair, they have been talking about trading Z since before this. He is one of the few members of this club that has any trade value. What I see this changing is his willingness to wave his no trade clause. Zambrano has been a huge part of this club for years, and I will hate to see him go, but I will be glad to see him catch on with a competitive team if it comes to that.

    2. Michigan Goat

      It makes complete sense to trade Z if we can get $$ relief and/or decent prospects. He is not part of the future and he is ridiculously expensive, so if we can make a quality trade we should do it. I am a fan of what Z has done and would like to see him get traded to a contender and possibly have a couple of winning seasons. I know we will miss the fun, excitement, and drama he causes but paying him 18m to pitch on a losing team does nobody any favors.

      1. EQ

        All above is agreed, but how many of you actually have faith in Hendry to get decent prospects in return? the only time he’s ever gotten good return was Archer in the DeRosa trade.. and we traded him last off season.. I guess I have more confidence in 2 decent years from big Z than I do in Hendry pulling off a good trade.

  17. Ryan Younggren

    Kudos to Big Z, his comments are dead on! Anyone who disagrees with them is just another ostrich in this joke of a puzzle that is known as the cubs organization!

  18. chris

    I have a clear take on the local media bashing of Z…it’s called “we’re scared to write or talk about what we really should be writing and talking about so we’re gonna use Z as the scapegoat” theory. It’s like the Cubs awful play has finally gotten the best of the media as well. And Z’s rant let them have a story to run with to blow off their own steam over how awful this team is. Let’s be honest these beat writers and people who cover the cubs on the daily will always need that next interview, sound bite, etc..from either Q, Hendry, the Ricketts family or whoever. so with that being the case they are not EVER gonna rip them wholeheartedly because it might come back to cost them that exclusive interview or a scoop on a competitor! So let’s rip Z and have some fun. Len and Bob are the same way for the most part. And it’s more understandable in their case since they are employees of the team. writers are not…RIP WHO NEEDS IT AND DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR NEXT STORY SOUND BITE OR SCOOP!

    Z was right on the money with the comment, he and marmol are cool as they’ve both said today and who cares! i am just waiting for someone to write a scathing account of this team from the top down and be fucking honest about it!

    1. hardtop

      there’s some truth to that, or it seems like it. I’m not anxiously awaiting a writer to step up and write the account you describe though. I watch a lot of baseball and I know whats wrong with the cubs, as do most of us here. I dont really need to see a nationally published article telling me what I and other real Cub fans already know. I find when writers start laying into the Cubs, I get defensive to some degree, usually on the issues and or players that are insignificant when it comes to their contributions to the teams real problems. LIke Gene Whathisnameski of ESPN, or even Bruce Levine, laying into Zambrano for being openly upset and truthfully critical of a mediocre team playing way below their potential while being poorly coached.

      1. chris

        yeah my problem is with bruce levine’s article…i think it would be refreshing if, rather than vent on Zambrano, he would put it all together and vent in the proper way and direct it towards those who deserve it. And there are a lot of fans that take what they read and think it the gospel. he’s doing those people a disservice. Gene Wojo is a notorious Z basher. i think he waits by his bedside nightly hoping a story of Z losing his temper surfaces so he can pen an article on espn.com.

        the frustration comes from that yeah, I KNOW WHAT THE CUBS PROBLEMS ARE, but when i read articles written by people that are so called experts and people that are in the know with the cubs, it seems like they don’t know what the real problem is.

        just baffling. that said i’m all for trading Z, or any of the high priced overpaid malcontent veterans on this team. i’d rather watch a losing team that is young and plays with effort than watch a losing team of Z, soriano, ramirez and fukudome!

  19. chris

    and i would appreciate as much feedback on that last comment as possible!

  20. Dan

    This is complete BS! First, Z is an intense player and is the best pitcher the Cubs have, trading him is not the answer. Second, the media complains when there is no competitive edge and NOW they are complaining when a true competitor tells the truth…..gimme a break….anything to sell a story i guess. Finally, this is in no way a rant or meltdown. In the press conference, Z doesn’t even raise his voice….And if you listen to him he says “WE STINK”. Last time I checked WE meant everyone on the team! GO Z!

  21. Blinda

    Big Z is just saying what the coach is too much a pussy to say. Z has been great this year and when the bullpen can’t pick up after you it sucks. My money says Z is wearing pinstripes by the trade deadline.