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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cubs to give Carlos Zambrano a chance

MILWAUKEE—Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein met face-to-face with Carlos Zambrano on Monday afternoon and said the starter will get a chance to return to the team in 2012.

...

“We met today at his request,” Epstein said. “It went well. He expressed a strong desire to be a Cub (again) and an even stronger desire to have a strong 2012 season. He’s in great shape. He’s working out twice a day, pitching down in Venezuela. I told him that we’d let him earn his right back to being a Cub.

“We said he’d have to work hard and that we aren’t welcoming him back unconditionally. We said he’d have to earn his way back.”

...

Epstein said that Zambrano seemed sincere and contrite in the meeting, but he’s taking a wait-and-see approach.

“From what I understand, he’s seemed that way before,” Epstein said. “So this is a trust-but-verify situation.”

An invincible power for all of us
Pilder on! Into your heart of justice
Fly, iron fist! Rocket punch
Now, here it goes! Breast fire

Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: November 16, 2011 at 05:47 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, japan

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   1. Meramec Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3994947)
This seems ridiculously candid by Epstein here, particularly the last line in the excerpt. It's all well and good to make these comments to Zambrano and others in the know, but why to the media? Why not simply say we are welcoming him back and hope things go well? Why basically hang him out to dry in the same statement?
   2. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#3994954)
Yeah. This seems a missed opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Odd.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3994957)
Everybody's talkin' 'bout
Epstein, Billy Beane, Casey Fien and Charlie Sheen
Francona, Rick Wrona, Dale Sveum and baseball games
All we are saying
Is give Z a chance
   4. Voodoo Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3994966)
At this point is it really possible to "wipe the slate clean"? I don't think so. I'm glad he's getting another chance, and hope he does well with it, but at this point there is no reason to pretend this situation hasn't occurred several times already. Pointing out the obvious is not the same as hanging someone out to dry.
   5. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3994983)
Because the Chicago sports media are a bunch of bloodthirsty psychotic buffoons and if he said I talked to Zambrano and everything's good to go, he'd have 15 articles the next day with each one trying to outscream the other. He's placating the morons.
   6. JRVJ Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3994985)
Epstein is probably feeling out the Cubs as an organization, Chicago media and Cubs fandom.

In that context, it's possible that he has been advised that it's a good idea to go Ronald Reagan here.
   7. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3994997)
Hey -

Theo could have said "we met with Carlos as he took a break from pitching in Venezuela and our first hope is that he stays safe down in Venezuela where we understand Wilson Ramos is undergoing a horrible ordeal. Carlos has a big, expensive, dollar-packed contract, so we just hope he stays safe down in Venezuela".
   8. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3995013)
Theo could have said "we met with Carlos as he took a break from pitching in Venezuela and our first hope is that he stays safe down in Venezuela where we understand Wilson Ramos is undergoing a horrible ordeal. Carlos has a big, expensive, dollar-packed contract, so we just hope he stays safe down in Venezuela".

D'oh!
   9. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 16, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3995060)
This seems ridiculously candid by Epstein here, particularly the last line in the excerpt. It's all well and good to make these comments to Zambrano and others in the know, but why to the media? Why not simply say we are welcoming him back and hope things go well? Why basically hang him out to dry in the same statement?

Because the media determined sometime in September that the number one priority from the Cubs this offseason was to get rid of Zambrano. It's going to take some work to convince them, and by proxy plenty of fans, why they're not doing that. It's going to take some time to de-program everyone from expecting the team to identify and then banish the annual scapegoat.

As for keeping him, good. There's no reason to give him away and he has negative trade value right now. He's a FA at the end of next season anyway. If it doesn't work out next year, they still get nothing for him in June. And if he actually eats up some innings - with a non-zero chance of actually being good - even better. And even if Theo et all really do want to get rid of him, you don't tell everyone that beforehand. It's something the previous management team never understood.
   10. Bunny Vincennes Posted: November 16, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3995070)
And even if Theo et all really do want to get rid of him, you don't tell everyone that beforehand. It's something the previous management team never understood.

Which in and of itself is a sea change in the way the Cubs do business.
   11. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 16, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3995074)
Call me cautiously optimistic, but I'm fine with this because it's happening under a new regime. I believe Theo when he says that Zambrano will get "A" chance. If we get another Carlos Being Carlos moment, I trust Theo will do what he can do get him off the roster. I wouldn't have the same confidence in Jim Hendry.
   12. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 16, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3995082)
As for keeping him, good. There's no reason to give him away and he has negative trade value right now. He's a FA at the end of next season anyway. If it doesn't work out next year, they still get nothing for him in June. And if he actually eats up some innings - with a non-zero chance of actually being good - even better. And even if Theo et all really do want to get rid of him, you don't tell everyone that beforehand. It's something the previous management team never understood.

2011 was by far Zambrano's worst season, and it came under unusual, if not bizarre circumstances. Epstein's choice is either 1) to pay Zambrano $18 million to play for the Cubs, accepting that he will probably not be great, but more likely a serviceable mid-rotation guy, or maybe what he was last year, or 2) pay Zambrano a large portion of $18 million to play for someone else. I think it's worth the risk, and if he plays the role of serviceable mid-rotation guy, he's tradeable.

I don't really see Zambrano's outbursts being such a huge deal.
   13. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 16, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3995115)
Moses said that far more eloquently and politely than I did.

It's just really nice to have the organization in the hands of adults.
   14. KyleJRM Posted: November 16, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3995136)
I'm making it my personal offseason agenda to explain to each and every Cubs fan that everything they hate about Carlos Zambrano was done first and worse by their beloved Ron Santo (except for the quitting on his team thing, that was Ryne Sandberg).
   15. SteveM. Posted: November 16, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#3995158)
Except in Sandberg's case, he didn't storm out midway through a game, clean out out hos locker and disappear. Rather, he chose to retire to work on his deteriorating marriage.
   16. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 16, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3995170)
Rather, he chose to retire to work on his deteriorating marriage.


His mistake was hiring Mark Grace as a marriage counselor.
   17. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: November 16, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3995172)
I'm making it my personal offseason agenda to explain to each and every Cubs fan that everything they hate about Carlos Zambrano was done first and worse by their beloved Ron Santo (except for the quitting on his team thing, that was Ryne Sandberg).


Heh... well... era-adjusted, you're right... Now - we can talk about increasingly crass society and culture, the more omnipresent (and less protective) media, etc -- but I agree wholeheartedly with the comparison.
   18. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 16, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3995173)
Once again, I agree with Moses Taylor and am happy that a few years ago I gave him liberty to speak on my behalf.
   19. Lest we forget Posted: November 16, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3995177)
Theo: ???????, ?? ????????
   20. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 16, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#3995216)
Theo: ???????, ?? ????????


Gorbachev: "Why does he keep saying that?"
   21. phredbird Posted: November 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3995254)
i'm unfamiliar with this ron santo stuff. what did he do that compares to zambrano?
   22. phineas Posted: November 16, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#3995257)
No one referred to the Japan tag and Who Swished In Your Cornflakes?'s writing.

The show was far more popular in Hispanosphere.
   23. KyleJRM Posted: November 16, 2011 at 11:32 PM (#3995262)
@15 So Zambrano quit in the heat of the moment and tried to take it back. Sandberg quit on his team and meant it.

@21 I'm so glad you asked! :) Santo:

Was notorious for destroying dugout equipment when he was upset with his performance.
Got into a fair few tussles with teammates.
Went Latrell Sprewell on his manager, attacking and choking him and having to be pulled off by teammates
Made the "heel click" gesture specifically to annoy opponents.
Badmouthed his teammates to the press on a few occasions, including the famous Don Young incident.
Was called "selfish" by a fair number of people who played with him, including Rico Carty, who said the Cubs would never win a division unless they got rid of Santo.

He gets written off as a competitor because he was a beloved announcer and because he's the wrong color to be described as having a "fiery temper."
   24. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:03 AM (#3995293)
The problem with Zambrano's temper is that there are a number of times where it seems to affect his performance on the field.

My Zambrano fandom decreased considerably after witnessing this game from right behind home plate at Veterans Stadium, where he had clearly lost control of his temper, and the game.

Still, I am not seeing a huge problem.
   25. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3995295)
Went Latrell Sprewell on his manager, attacking and choking him and having to be pulled off by teammates

Wait - what?

Leo Durocher, in his autobiography, said it was the angriest he'd ever seen a player but also said it never got physhical [sic]. Santo got upset screaming and yelling - but where'd you here there was an actual attack? Where did you hear Santo choked Durocher?
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#3995297)

Leo Durocher, in his autobiography, said it was the angriest he'd ever seen a player but also said it never got physhical [sic]. Santo got upset screaming and yelling - but where'd you here there was an actual attack? Where did you hear Santo choked Durocher?


Also, lot's of people have assaulted or wanted to assault Durocher. I think that's a significant mitigating factor.
   27. KyleJRM Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#3995314)
@26

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-12-04/news/ct-spt-1205-santo-moments--20101203_1_black-cat-episode-santo-clause-cubs

"During a clear-the-air meeting in the Cubs clubhouse in 1971, an enraged Santo began to choke Durocher for claiming the third baseman had demanded that the organization hold a day in his honor."
   28. HarryAbles Posted: November 17, 2011 at 01:15 AM (#3995319)
Nice Guys Finish Last:

" 'That's a lie!' Ron screamed, and took a leap across the room at me. I thought he was going to belt me one, that's how mad he was. If he had, there would have been a fight for sure, and I'd have probably been killed. He didn't swing at me, though. He just stood nose to nose with me and kept yelling."
   29. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 17, 2011 at 05:08 AM (#3995445)
This seems ridiculously candid by Epstein here, particularly the last line in the excerpt. It's all well and good to make these comments to Zambrano and others in the know, but why to the media? Why not simply say we are welcoming him back and hope things go well? Why basically hang him out to dry in the same statement?


Because of the objective pipe?
   30. Something Other Posted: November 17, 2011 at 07:59 AM (#3995473)
Epstein said that Zambrano seemed sincere and contrite in the meeting, but he’s taking a wait-and-see approach.

“From what I understand, he’s seemed that way before,” Epstein said. “So this is a trust-but-verify situation.”
This may be the right approach to take--I have no idea--but it's definitely a hard-assed approach. I know guys who do this automatically. I hear successful teachers do this as well. Start out tough then ease up over time. If Epstein feels that Z's value to the Cubs is currently next to nothing, he may also feel that he has little to lose by being perceived as a tough guy.

In that context, it's possible that he has been advised that it's a good idea to go Ronald Reagan here.
Moronic pitchman for a deranged political agenda who had to have his ass wiped by his Treasury Secretary?

Just curious.
   31. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 17, 2011 at 10:55 AM (#3995485)
Moronic pitchman for a deranged political agenda who had to have his ass wiped by his Treasury Secretary?

Sorry, peon, but you haven't lived until you've gotten your butt wiped with a picture of Salmon P. Chase.
   32. Something Other Posted: November 18, 2011 at 07:33 AM (#3996314)
Heh. But did you know, not only did Salmon Portland Chase get his kisser on the $10,000 bill, according to the wiki he also cannily used U.S. currency as his own personal campaign posters:

The first U.S. federal currency, the greenback demand note, was printed in 1861-1862, during Chase's tenure as Secretary of the Treasury. These greenbacks formed the basis for today's paper currency. It was Chase's responsibility to design the notes. In an effort to further his political career, his face appeared on a variety of U.S. paper currency, starting with the $1 bill so that the people would recognize him.
   33. Meatwad Posted: November 18, 2011 at 09:23 AM (#3996327)
at least Z has givin a damn about winning, most of the rest of the team was content to suck and get paid. trading z would be very dumb why eat so much with a rotation that was starting DOUG ####### DAVIS, RODREGIO LOPEZ AND RAMON MOTHER ####### ORTIZ!! even a pissed off not good z is better then them. and in 2010 they decided after 2 starts to put him in the pen? that move alone showed how ####### dumb hendry was at managing his personnel. with the mgmt change I think z has a great year, no more front office scapegoating, no more bull #### now things are real so to speak in the cubs org. and a player why wants nothing else but to perform well and win should do just fine there
   34. Hack Wilson Posted: November 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM (#3996345)
Also, lot's of people have assaulted or wanted to assault Durocher.


Heck If I knew where Leo was buried I'd dig him up hang him in chains at Wrigley, throw his disinterred body into a pit, and display his severed head on a pole outside Chicago City Hall for decades. (Too English?)
   35. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: November 18, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3996370)

Heck If I knew where Leo was buried I'd dig him up hang him in chains at Wrigley, throw his disinterred body into a pit, and display his severed head on a pole outside Chicago City Hall for decades. (Too English?)


I love a good grave robbing -- Forest Law Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, CA... while you're there, can you tinkle on Telly Savalas' grave? He knows why.

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