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Each day, I think it will be the end of the bullets-style Carlos Zambrano posts, and then I look at my open tabs and realize I have five things to write about Zambrano. Until that stops, the bullets-style Carlos Zambrano posts will continue…

  • SI’s Michael McCann takes a legal approach to the Carlos Zambrano circus and the upcoming grievance hearing. There is too much good content to repost here, but the gist is this: the Cubs will argue Zambrano clearly indicated a refusal to render services in a manner that materially breached his player contract. If they want to go for broke, they could argue that Zambrano in fact offered his retirement, which was immediately accepted by Jim Hendry. Alternatively, the Cubs could argue that Zambrano violated the personal conduct clause in his contract, but that’s almost always a no-go (every time it comes up, I’m reminded of Denny Neagle and his lady of the night). The Players’ Association will have a number of arguments, including the ambiguous nature of Z’s comments, the people to whom he directed those comments (i.e., not the Cubs’ GM or MLB), and the fact that, because Z had been ejected from that game and was thereafter prohibited from returning to the team, at no time did he fail to render services. From my (now former) lawyerly perspective, it’s a good analysis, based on the facts as we now know them.
  • Carlos Pena says he was not talking about Carlos Zambrano when he made his comments about a lack of team chemistry and a need for a cultural change. “I would never single out any one of my teammates because that would defeat the purpose of what I’m trying to say,” Pena said. “I’m talking about being united, being together, working for a common goal and being positive and expecting things to happen and really being proud to wear the uniform.” Ok. I accept that. But, off the record, you were talking about Carlos Zambrano, right?
  • Rick Telander wonders whether Jim Hendry should have foreseen the downfall of Zambrano, and whether it’s fair to blame Hendry now. I don’t think you can blame Hendry for signing Zambrano to the extension he did in 2007 – Z was still just 26, and near the top of his game. The contract was actually under-market, too. But, the complacency since then, and the failed (or lack of) efforts to move Zambrano this past Winter are clear marks against Hendry.
  • Bob Brenly has some harsh words for Zambrano. “Never [was there] a day when the ballclub won a big game and you heard Carlos complimenting his teammates for what they did on the field,” Brenly said. “All of the explosions always followed personal failures on the part of Zambrano. I see no chance that that’s going to change in the future. I said it on the air, the only thing he’s gotten better at in his time in Chicago is being selfish.”
  • Although Kerry Wood still believes Zambrano is, at heart, a good guy, it doesn’t sound like Wood is eager for Z to come back. “Seriously, baseball aside, Z’s a good person, man. He really is. He’s a good guy; he’s got a good heart; he gets it; he knows what the game’s about,” Wood said. “But, unfortunately, he’s had a history of not being able to control his emotions. I’m sure he’s well aware of it, and the people around him are well aware of it. The same thing that made him great — makes him great — is the emotion that he pitches with. But, again, it’s a double-edged sword. And that’s one too many times.”
  • Given the now legal nature of things, it’s unsurprising that Jim Hendry and Mike Quade were mum when asked about Zambrano’s recent public apology. “There’s nothing else to say,” Hendry said. “The process will run its course.” Quade said, “It’s not on my radar. I’m not dealing with that today, that’s for sure.”
  • Just an hour before his exclusive first interview with Zambrano aired, Dave Kaplan posted a scathing article about Z, saying that it’s time for the Cubs to make a huge cultural change. Dumping Zambrano, Kaplan said, is the starting point.
  • CubsFanatic

    I wonder if the Cubs can actually pull this off. I wonder if they could use a defense based on the safety of other player on the roster?

  • BT

    I’m not sure you can blame Hendry for not moving Zambrano. It’s certainly possible he refused to move him, or that he asked for too much in return, which would be his fault. It’s just as possible that no one wanted him. I’m not sure how we would know which it was.

    • hardtop

      well as the 4th highest paid pitcher in the league, im sure he’s pretty difficult to move. but if hendry had struck a deal, any deal, we might have only have to eat half his salary as opposed to eating 75% of it now. at the non-waiver deadline there were almost certianly contenders interested, as Z’s season was not in complete shambles at that point. The yankees would have been stupid for not making a serious push for him, he’s way better than burnett. i like blaming hendry for everything, so im going to do so on this too.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No, we don’t know much of anything (or, at least, I’ll freely admit that I don’t). But my criticism is not so much not pulling the trigger on a deal, it’s not seeking out a deal in the first place – my sense was that after Zambrano’s spectacular August/September last year, the Cubs stopped thinking about trying to trade him. And I think I was critical of that decision at the time, so it’s not a total hindsight thing (though my memory could be flawed).

  • cccubfan

    You can’t really blame Hendry for the signing, as was said above. He did what was right, when it was right ans we all thought he did right too….Admit it….LOL…It is time for “Z” to move on though. He will never have the team respect and be the leader at this career point he should be. Distraction is all we can say. Move him for what you can get Jim. Eat that salary and send him on. Preferably somewhere he won’t come back to haunt us though….LOL

  • al

    id make sure he winds up on a team that actually is worse than the cubs…seattle…houston.. i would make sure that the self pompous ass is no where near a team that actually has a chance…similar to what the hawks did when they got rid of ed belfour when he was a crying bitch…

    • Jeremy

      sigh. I just realized how short that list of teams worse than us is…

    • hardtop

      crying bitch maybe, but 3rd all time in wins and in the hall of fame too. he wasnt with san jose more than 1/2 a season, and i seem to remember he had his name on the cup within 2 years of being traded. im not sayin’… im just sayin’… ;)

  • jt

    I dunno, honestly… I think we’ll see Z pitching for the cubs next season. If that does happen, he needs to go to the back of the rotation. For too long he’s just expected to be the #1 or the “Ace” of the staff. I think if they knock him down a few pegs, and couple that with the fact that 2012 will be a contract year for him, we might be able to get one more good season out of him. Say what you want about his ERA, but the only other cubs pitcher that has pitched more innings than him this year is Dempster. On top of that he’s managed to win more than he’s lost.

    The market for starting pitching is going to be pretty abysmal this off season and Z can still win games at a better rate than the people that would replace him.

  • Toosh

    No way Z’ pitches for the Cubs again.

  • BFM

    I like Z’s intensity but this is way over the top.
    Enough is enough.
    We need to dump him.
    I think most Cubs fans agree.
    However, he has a no trade clause.
    Even though he said he would waive it if the Cubs really wanted to trade him or if he was no longer welcome.
    My question is……..what if he changes his mind and won’t waive his no-trade clause?
    Can’t he just stick around and be a major pain in the ass for another season?

    How do we get around this?

  • Dick

    So Z announces his retirement to a visiting clubhouse man, and Hendry is going to claim that was a legal contract?? I thought clubhouse guys were like priests who you could confess to and they would never betray your trust.

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