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The Marlins come to town today after an awkward off-day. The Cubs were off for four days for the All-Star break (one more than in years past), played a three game set against the Diamondbacks, and then were off again. It’s very choppy. I look forward to the schedule smoothing back out.

  • Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen says he expects to be booed at Wrigley Field this week, and he also expects Carlos Zambrano to be booed. In fact, Guillen says Zambrano “should” be booed, which he explains as related to Z’s rough last couple of years in Chicago (though I’ve gotta assume Guillen is also saying it simply because the Marlins are coming in as the opponent). Guillen added: “It’s going to be interesting and fun. Hopefully they don’t overdo it by calling him names or calling him something they aren’t supposed to say. They can boo. They can say anything they want. But as long as they don’t cross the line, just go out and have fun. I want to be out there [during batting practice] to see it. I’m not going to but I would love to be out there to see what they are saying. Carlos still has good friends on the team. You know what is funny, Carlos did a lot of great stuff for that city and pitched great for them, too. That’s part of the game. Part of baseball is, ‘What have you done lately for us?’ And, ‘We remember you.’ But he did a lot of good things.”
  • You can see a number of additional quotes about Zambrano from Guillen here, including Ozzie’s thoughts on how/why Zambrano is much calmer this year. And Paul Sullivan takes a look at Zambrano’s time with, and departure from, the Cubs.
  • Zambrano isn’t starting for the Marlins in the series, by the way, having started yesterday.
  • Javier Baez was the Midwest League’s Player of the Week last week, which was actually the first time a Chiefs player had won the award in almost three years. Cubs’ outfield prospect Trey Martin won his league’s Player of the Week award last week, too. The athletic Boise center fielder was an overslot bonus kid for the Cubs in 2011, and is a name to remember.
  • A little more of Anthony Rizzo’s story, including his obsession with all things baseball growing up.
  • Carrie Muskat answered questions, noting, among other things, that the Cubs’ offense is actually slightly worse since Rudy Jaramillo was dismissed at hitting coach.
  • A Massachusetts woman has been charged with stalking in Chicago after, essentially, she couldn’t leave Theo Epstein alone. We can squeal, but let’s not do this, mmmkay, folks?
  • As Luke mentioned in the Minor League Daily today, BN’er Cubbie Blues offers a second prospect poll on the Message Board, this one to determine the Cubs’ top 10 pitching prospects. Let’s just say it’s a considerably more difficult exercise than was the positional prospect poll.
  • Don’t forget to enter the one-day fantasy contest, if you’re able. It’s fun, free, you can win money, etc. It’s a bundle of awesome.
  • EQ76

    I think hitting coach can be an overrated position.. In ’08 Gerald Perry was a great hitting coach when the team was stacked with talent, a couple years later he’s fired… Jaramillo was known as one of the best as he coached a loaded Rangers team in a hitter friendly park yet never really did well in Chicago.. The thing is, as with most coaches, sometimes you’re only as good as your players. The Cubs’ lineup has been pretty bad the past couple of years, that’s not really the hitting coach’s fault.

  • TC

    All I know that is if I could go to the game, I would give him one of the loudest rounds of applause possible if he somehow got into one of the games. Dude was one of our best pitchers ever

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes. But he was also a terrible teammate, and a constant headache.

      • TC

        Yea, and was also like a top 3 pitcher in the franchise’s modern history and led two of the better Cub teams in recent memory to back-to-back playoff births. That all outweighs the headaches in my mind

        • Turn Two

          As long as we’re clear that Carlos Zambrano never “led” anything with the Cubs you can cheer him all you want. Everyone can have their favorite players and cheer them, but Z quit every time things got tough, so there is no obligation to root for him.

          • TC

            Outside of the one time he actually quit at the end of his time here, please tell me one other time he “quit when things got tough”?

            • Carew

              Remember when he beat the crap out of that cooler? I’m not really responding to your guitting question, I’m just taking a stroll down memory lane..ah bad times

              • Sweetjamesjones

                That gatorade machine went through a lot.

              • Edwin

                Didn’t Dempster also beat up the cooler one time?

                • Turn Two

                  Attacking the cooler is different than attacking your catcher.

                  • Quintz

                    Isn’t “quitting” one of those actions that is unforgettable and largely unforgivable in professional sports? It’s almost like saying “I’m a really trustworthy dude, expect for the time I stole a bunch of stuff from my friends, but it was just once.”

                  • Sweetjamesjones

                    Of course it is, but the violent display of beating up a machine that just wants to keep the players hydrated, is appalling.

                    • Quintz

                      The repeated cooler abuse was the Cubs fault. The cooler should have been traded away immediately after the first incident.

                    • Katie

                      That water cooler had it coming.

                • Leroy K.

                  Garza beat up the cooler. I think all our pitchers have beat up on the cooler once or twice….

                • rcleven

                  Demp never had the tantrums and never attacked his catcher in the dugout.

            • Turn Two

              I seem to remember him punching his catcher after one outing when he stunk, I also remember him verbally attacking the team captain another time when we began to lose. Quitting comes in many forms other than actually literally walking out on your team which rarely happens…oh wait, he did that too.
              Again, I have no problem with anyone cheering for him if you liked his game, but Cub fans have no obligation to root for the guy. I’ll save my applause for D. Lee, Aramis, etc. who actually led those teams.

            • Doug Dascenzo

              There was a time when he was my favorite pitcher on the Cubs, even over Prior and Wood. I can’t recall other than that one incident where it was apparent he quit on them. But there were a lot of tantrums, pointing fingers and publicly placing the blame on other teammates which I think was wrong. Whenever you hold others more accountable than yourself, than to me your not being a teammate. I wouldn’t boo the guy though because most of his career he was a workhorse, it’s just that tailspin later on in his career that for some people negated everything else he did for the Cubs.

      • BD

        It’s hard to balance the two, that’s for sure. I feel kind of like “thanks for the good pitching, but I’m glad you are gone now.”

        I find it somewhat similar to how things ended with Sammy Sosa. Sure hindsight says he was using steroids and the way he left was not cool, but from 96-03 he was absolutely the MAN.

        • kubphan82

          ONCE, is the total cumulative times Sammy tested positive for PED. While some stars were found testing positive for HGH (affecting hand-eye coordination/eye-sight) and others for steroids (size and strength), it would have come out in his PED testing that he tested positive for one had he taken one. There are different categories of PEDs and some are more damning than others, I don’t condone any, but there’s no need to tarnish the career of a great Cub when the proof isn’t present.

          Yes, hate on Sammy for the one PED test and the corked bat after he got drilled in the head by a fastball… He should never have resorted to those tactics or practices.

          We should celebrate him. He should be a welcome part of the Cubs. Zambrano’s end was considerably different and more so recent, so the time for expected forgiving may be a bit longer and never to the point where he’s back with the organization, just looked at as a valuable and volatile starter for a few years.

    • Cubs Dude

      No doubt Z had some good years for the Cubs. But he was a complete pain in the ass in so many ways. He was known as such a psycho throughout MLB that we had to pay his full 18 mill. salary and receive turd man Volstad back just to get rid of that nut job. He completely bent the Cubs over in so many ways it’s ridiculous. I just don’t get why anyone would want to applaud that ass hole.

  • Andrew

    Maybe Ozzie will use Z as a pinch hitter just to hear the boos from the full crowd.

  • Dan

    Big Z will always be a part of what was once thought of a piece to win a World Series along with Prior and Wood. It’s amazing how all 3 never fully lived up to expectations. If only they were able to bring a World Series title to this town. They were really close one year. The Big 3 that never was. Just imagine if they would have one a title; Z, Prior, and Wood would be Icons in Chicago, even if Z was nutty at the end.

    I’ll be looking forward to the time when Soriano, Soto, and Marmol are off the team. This will be the sign that the Cubs are ready for another World Series run. Until then though…, Go Cubs!

    • Turn Two

      He was 0-2 in post-seasons with the Cubs. 2003 was Prior and Wood- Z was 0-1 with a 5.73 in the nlcs that year.

      • Dan

        Look at his season numbers. His post season games are a small sample size. Look at his season numbers.

        2003 CHC 32 32 13 11 0 0 0 3 1 214.0 188 88 74 9 94 168 3.11 1.32 .239

  • RoughRiider

    I still say the loudest message is no sound at all. Zambrano had flashes of brilliance for the Cubs but he also stunk up the place at times and blamed other people for his failure. He was not a good teammate. I’d love to see him be announced and have the entire place go so quiet you can hear a pin drop.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Good God.. that woman stalking Theo is scary looking. At least she wasn’t hot and we might have to worry about the family pet. I don’t care about the Zambrano coming to Chicago. Ozzie just wants to have a 3 ring circus everywhere he goes. Cubs fans should just be quiet and not give the two of them anything to talk about. I wouldn’t even boo them. Just be quiet and let them stew on that. The silent treatment is worse than the booing. We play right into their game by booing and calling names etc.

    Why is it that nobody on the internet has any real scoops on our trade possibilities? All you see is 10 teams in on Dempster or Garza. Redsox hot after Dempster. Is there nobody who wants to go out on a limb and speculate on anything? This is the most boring damned trade season I have ever had to read about. Doesn’t anyone have any sources or rumor mongors these days. As I scour the internet 10 times a day there is nothing interesting to read that I haven’t already read 10 times. I want some Juicy Stuff and there is none

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Attacking something that houses beer is not good or smart. The cooler should be one of the things that we consider a prize possession. I have several coolers for different activities. These coolers cost a fair amount of $$ so I don’t think beating one of them up is in the cards. I would never take a baseball bat to my kegorator. I kicked the dryer once when I was pissed because the wife told me I had to declog lint from the vent going outside and I was getting ready to leave to go play 18 holes. Now that pissed me off. That dryer hurt my big toe and I was way late getting to the golf course.

  • Cys_av8r

    What are the chances a foul ball smacks Ozzie in his big stupid mouth and shuts him up for the remainder of the series???

  • Kevin

    Very lame trade season ……. we hear enough to want to hear more but are disappointed on a daily basis.

    • hansman1982

      We are still very early in trade season. If it were a baseball game we would probably be in the 2nd inning with innings 7-8-9 occuring on the 31st.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to see teams making moves, but this is pretty standard for the trade season. Most of the action happens like … 50% deadline, 25% final week of July, 15% second to last week of July, 10% the rest of the season (before or in August).

      This year, the rumors started flying really early, though. That’s why it feels so drawn out.

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        Do you think they started early since the Cubs play this deadline was so telegraphed?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Absolutely.

          But it wasn’t just the Cubs, though. Rumors all around kicked up kind of early. I think it’s just the evolution of rumor mongering on the Internet, to be honest.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Do you still expect Dempster to be moved this week?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Better than 50/50, yes.

  • JK

    It will happen….when it happens.

  • jim

    TO ‘ALL’ you CUBS FANS that actually think they
    ARE going to make the playoffs. Stop drinking the
    Kool Aid. This team will DEFINITELY not make
    the playoffs this year! As a matter of fact, I fully
    expect them to go back to their win 1 lose 2 games,
    very shortly. p.s However, I do believe that Theo
    is on track for the future.

    • bt

      Bold!

      • MontelleW

        bt: bold? really?

        Jim: Thank you, Mr OBVIOUS! Any other great predictions – like maybe that the sun will eventually set tonight? or that Water is wet? LOL

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          BT was being sarcastic.

        • WNebCub

          it’s tuesday

    • TC

      SO BRAVE

    • RoughRiider

      Did you just wake up ?. I haven’t seen anything on anyone ( other than some kids) who think the Cubs have any chance whatsoever in a lonnnnnnnnng time. Oh, I get it. You just read something that Quade said.

      • leroy k.

        yeah I agree with Roughrider. Hendry doesn’t work here anymore….

  • Steve

    Wouldn’t call it lame. Just frustrating. Each morning i expect to see a gheadline saying we made a move. Alas, just more crap.
    I just want Demp gone before his next start. He is at the very PEAK of his trade value. The very peak I say!

    • rcleven

      I don’t expect Demp to be the first domino to fall. When that first trade happens other teams will respond. Seems GM’s are more reactive than proactive.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Brett, you should take Carrie Muskat’s job from her. Reading anything she writes makes my head hurt.

    • RoughRiider

      Brett couldn’t work for that amount of pay.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You wouldn’t want me to have that job. And I don’t think Carrie’s so bad…

  • Tommy

    Don’t think Cub fans are going to boo Z. He still was a big part of some successful years here, and Cub fans seem to remember players for the good they did, and show appreciation for it when they return.

    Guillen on the other hand is a self-absorbed egomaniac that left the city of Chicago before his contract was up. He’s not one of my favorite Chicago sport’s figures, but he was a part of the team that brought Chicago it’s last World Series Championship, so good and bad. Point is, I would be much more likely to boo Guillen than I would Z. I always liked Z, just didn’t like some of the things he did.

  • JulioZuleta

    You’re right, trying to rank the 10 best, or 10 least bad, pitching prospects is not easy.

  • willis

    It’s so funny the “booing” is even an issue. Dude isn’t going to pitch this series, so unless he gets an AB as a pinch hitter it’s a non issue. Z is an a-hole. It was a train wreck the last couple of years here and he made the team worse not better. Getting rid of him was a huge plus, even if it brought Suckstad in return.

    But who really cares? Let’s hope for another great pitching performance and another series win.

  • Tommy

    …and on a side note – stalking should be legal.

    Welcome to Chicago, Theo!

  • Vladimir

    Let me guess, without reading first. We should boo him becawz goo(d) player ged boo. It mean dey do damahg to ge boo. Dey shoo welcol hee bak whi open alm becaw wha he di for da cub an da cee aw shecago.

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