Monday, August 15, 2011
Grow up, Carlos.
Most years it can be very trying being a Chicago Cubs fan. This is one of those years. However the last couple of weeks have been going very well for the team. They had a seven-game winning streak, and had won nine out of their last 11. Then came last Friday night in Atlanta. It was Bobby Cox night, when the Braves retired Cox's number. Carlos Zambrano was pitching and was being extremely hospitable to the Braves. He allowed five home runs, including back-to-back home runs by Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla. The next batter was Chipper Jones and Zambrano threw two pitches at him. Of course, the umpire tossed him out of the game for that. Zambrano is well-known for tossing temper tantrums when things don't go his way. At those times, a two-year-old shows more maturity. He has fought with his catcher, destroyed a Gatorade container, ripped his teammates in the press, and generally acted like a spoiled brat many, many times. This time he went to the clubhouse, cleaned out his locker, and went home, claiming he was retiring. It was a real mature way to handle the situation. I don't think he was prepared for the Cubs reaction, however.
The Cubs have placed him on the 30 day disqualified list which means he not only is not playing, he also is not receiving any salary. Of course, the players union has already filed a grievance, but I really hope the Cubs stick to their guns. I appreciate the fact that Carlos is a very intense player who doesn't like to lose, but we have seen this kind of behavior too many times. His teammates are tired of the drama that he brings. They have made it pretty clear they don't want to see him return. I am sure he will pitch again but I don't believe it will be in a Cubs uniform. He has come close a few times before of burning that bridge, but this time he used gasoline. He can be a very good pitcher, but his skills are clearly diminishing. Factor in that personality of his and he becomes a liability instead of an asset. Some team out there will be willing to give him a chance. Let them try and tame this man child.
The Cubs seem to play much better and August and September. If we could only start the season, then we might see some success. No matter what, I will still root for them. I am a die-hard Cubs fan, not one of the fair weather fans that only root when their team is winning.
The baseball card pictured here is from my collection. It has in it a piece of uniform that Carlos wore during a game.