Carlos Zambrano Takes a Step Back in Venezuela and Other Bullets

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Carlos Zambrano Takes a Step Back in Venezuela and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Well, today figures to continue yesterday’s buzz about a possible Matt Garza trade. While there’s a chance something happens today, keep perspective – this isn’t like when Bruce Levine reported that a Sean Marshall deal could be completed within the next day or two with the Reds, listing a specific name the Cubs would be getting back. When a reporter gets that specific, you can be reasonably certain the foundation of a deal has been agreed to, and, at most, the periphery is being sorted out. As far as I know on Garza, the meat is still being worked out – including the trading partner and the players involved. We’ll have the latest on Garza in just a bit. Until then, Bullets…

  • Carlos Zambrano made his second start in Venezuela after returning from a facial injury, and was not quite as effective this time around. He gave up just one run over his 4.1 innings, but he also gave up six hits and three walks. When you only give up one run after allowing nine base runners in a little over four innings, we call that “lucky,” rather than “good.” He struck out just two. I still believe the Cubs are trying to move Zambrano, and will continue to do so through Spring Training. To that end, it sure would be helpful if he would start pitching lights out.
  • Everyone seems to be doing a “Top Five X Stories” article these days (if I were insane, I’d go through this year’s 162 Enhanced Box Scores and pick out the five best), and Bruce Levine is no exception. He’s got the “Top Five Cubs Stories” from 2011, which includes the Theo hire, the Santo HOF induction, the Hendry/Quade firing, the Castro emergence, and the Zambrano exit. Strange; none of these top five stories things ever seems to mention one of the biggest stories of the Cubs’ 2011 season. Namely: the team was terrible at baseball. Seems like a big story about the 2011 Cubs season, no?
  • There was a small electrical fire, quickly extinguished, at the Cubs’ offices at Wrigley Field yesterday, which led to a parade of terrible jokes. Cubs, on fire, burning contracts, burning down Wrigley, hot stove, and so on. We get it. Fortunately no one was hurt and there was no serious damage.
  • Fun facts about new Cubs pitcher Andy Sonnanstine.
  • BCB wraps up its three part interview with Tom Ricketts, and Ricketts concludes with this thought for Cubs fans: “I think most fans understand that to really get the organization heading in the right direction, it doesn’t happen overnight. That said, you get a few good off season moves and you have guys who stay healthy next year and anything can happen. We’re excited about next season, but we’re really excited about our future as we go forward. Some of the lower profile but very smart decisions that we make will start to pay off over time and fans should know that their baseball team is in good hands.” In other words, we’re hoping to get lucky in 2012 because our focus is almost exclusively on the future. That’s fine with me.
  • This is not so much a sales pitch as a head’s up: should you be inclined to purchase BN apparel, the store is currently offering a free shipping deal, now through January 2, if you buy $30 or more of stuff. Just use the coupon code: FREEDELIVERY.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.