No Chicago Cubs player since Sammy Sosa (and maybe even before him) has been as polarizing as Carlos Zambrano. Not among the fans, mind you, who – until recently – have generally supported Zambrano.

I’m talking about in the media. Some writers love(d) Z; some clearly disliked him. And, to be sure, Zambrano had his favorites, as well.

Maybe now we’re seeing why some, like Paul Sullivan, seemed to give Z such a hard time over the years (I have to confess, I’ve come around on Sullivan, and not entirely because of this Z business. I generally enjoy him now, and – for those among you who tweet – he’s an enjoyable Twitter user).

So, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the Carlos Zambrano affair igniting in otherwise dispassionate writers a bit of passion.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer recently expressed frustration that Zambrano’s agent is only speaking to some media and not others.

“[Zambrano’s] agent, Barry Praver, is in full damage-control mode, handpicking media perceived as sympathetic to deliver the Zambrano camp’s spin, even changing details as new facts are discovered and reported,” Wittenmyer writes.

“Praver, who told ESPN a formal players-union grievance will be filed Monday to fight Zambrano’s 30-day suspension without pay, has not returned repeated messages left by the Sun-Times. He told one outlet that Zambrano returned to the clubhouse within two hours after leaving to return his belongings. And after the Cubs publicly disputed that — many players scoffing as they watched that televised report in the clubhouse Sunday — Praver told another outlet Zambrano didn’t return but had someone else take his stuff back. Whatever.”

That Wittenmyer ended this train of thought with a dismissive and derisive “whatever” makes me chuckle. Add that to the list of things I never thought I’d read in a Cubs news article.

Paul Sullivan was even more on-the-nose with his criticism of a follow media outlet for its Zambrano coverage.

In a recent tweet, Sullivan linked a Daily Herald story, which summed up various facets of the affair, from the events of Friday night, to Zambrano’s placement on the disqualified list, to the reactions of teammates. In the tweet, Sullivan called the Daily Herald article a “weak cut-n-paste job,” criticized it for “[taking] sentences verbatim from other news outlets,” and called the effort “shameful.” Ouch. Harsh, bro.

And then, when Zambrano granted an exclusive first interview to CSN’s Dave Kaplan, ESPN’s Jon Greenburg tweeted, “The Cubs beat writers should be pleased Zambrano spoke to Kaplan first. Not like this is a big story.” Bruce Miles followed up, “No one more vicious toward Z than Kap.”

Ah, such is the magic of Carlos Zambrano. This kind of tumult may be the only thing I miss when Zambrano is gone.

  • TWC

    Ooooh, cat fight in the Chicago media!

    Douches. Except for Wittenmyer, who’s a pasty douche. Actually using “Whatever” as the final sentence to end a paragraph? In a -newspaper-? Is he 12?

    I love how the sportswriter animus is being turned laterally, across their respective domains. While it’s often tedious to read their screed, it’s really amusing to see them feed upon each other so openly. What a buncha dopes.

  • Matt Murton

    I’ve gotta say, I don’t think Paul Sullivan get’s pooped on as much as he deserves. For being the Trib’s beat writer for the Cubs, he blows. He’s such a little weasel, and really has nothing of value to say that Kap, Bruce, or Brett (yeah, I went there) hasn’t already dug up from somewhere else.

    • EQ

      I think 90% of the writers are douche bags.. a bunch of nerds without an ounce of physical ability that understand little about being an athlete and were probably for the most part picked on by all the cool kids in school.

      I agree Z crossed some lines, but damnit, he seems to have been the only Cub that cared and showed emotion, for that, he should never have to apologize..

      • greg b

        Thank you I’m glad someone feels the same way I do,I’m not excusing his actions but at least he always has appeared to care about the game which can’t be said for a lot of other players

  • Jeff

    I say “whatever” every few sentences when I’m reading Wittenmeyer’s articles. I wonder if he finally decided to read his own story and that’s the final conclusion he came up with. “Whatever, it’s good enough, it’s not like this has to be professional or anything.”

    • TWC

      Whatever, Jeff.

      • Jeff

        Whatever, hippie.

        • TWC


  • Jason

    Jim Hendry has been dismissed as General Manager of the Chicago Cubs !!! Bye Bye Hendry Good Luck in your future endeavours but it was time for a change

  • awesome

    trib says Hendry is out as of now. Bush in as interim.

  • awesome

    i was wrong but, Quade is still here.