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Enough of the blame game

            With the Cubs struggling to fly that W flag this season, fans and management are playing the blame game, with Carlos Zambrano becoming the latest target.

            Talk of dumping Big Z has flooded the world of social media after his meltdown during the Chitown Classic last weekend.

            But do people really have such short attention spans to forget that less than a week ago it was Milton Bradley in Lou Piniella’s doghouse?

            There’s no denying the 2009 Cubs are a different team than the division champion 2008 Cubs. With Mark DeRosa a Cardinal, Jason Marquis kicking ass in Colorado, and Aramis Ramirez on the DL, the 2009 Cubs have had to shuffle things around to figure out what works. So far, the Cubs have yet to find the right recipe for success.

            True, Zambrano has had some negative memorable outings this season, including his May 27 meltdown against Pittsburgh and subsequent six game suspension, but he has also made a positive impact on the team.

            Although his record stands at 4-3, Big Z recorded his 100th win against Cincinnati after hitting the game-winning homerun, one of his two homers so far this season. 

            Despite missing a start during his suspension, at 3.69, his current ERA is lower than last year’s by .22. Plus, who could forget Z’s no-no against Houston last September?

            If there’s one thing that even a White Sox fan can’t deny, it’s that Carlos Zambrano has passion.

            Regardless of how many blowups, ejections, suspensions, or destroyed Gatorade dispensers this season contains, there’s no arguing that Zambrano has become a truly memorable asset for Major League Baseball.

            So why whine about trading him? Zambrano has literally grown up in the Cubs organization. Our hotheaded Venezuelan is regarded as one of the best-hitting pitchers in baseball with 18 career homeruns, a .237 career batting average, and the .389 slugging percentage of a successful switch-hitter.

            Although Big Z only pitches every fifth game, he always shows up to the clubhouse with his cleats on, ready to play. Even when he’s not starting, he comes to the field hoping that Lou will call on him to pinch-hit in a key situation. After all, there have been 19 times in his career that the skipper has done just that.

            Still not convinced? C’mon guys, how many other pitchers would call a timeout to spit out a cracked molar on the mound, then continue pitching as if nothing had happened? I’ve heard of pitchers going on the DL over a paper cut.

            Yeah, Zambrano has been known to lose his cool, but he’s not the only member of the Cubs organization to do so. Lou Piniella or Milton Bradley, anyone?

            And if Zambrano’s fiery personality likens him to aggressive pitching greats Pedro Martinez, Nolan Ryan, and Roger Clemens, then let the Venezuelan volcano erupt!

            Whether he brings you admiration or agitation, accept it: Carlos Zambrano is here to play, and here to stay.

Brittany Feagans

brit.feagans@gmail.com

 

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