Brian was very upset with the Big Man when he went on his verbal diatribe in Spring Training. Brian understood why he was making the statements he was making, but Brian really hoped he just kept his mouth shut. Why did the mammoth and extremely talented righty from Venezuela have to draw so much attention to himself? Brian hoped and prayed the Big Boy’s statements would prove to be accurate, so it is easy to imagine how Brian felt on June 1st during the dugout and clubhouse pummeling administered by the “Z” man. After two months of the season Carlos had done himself a rather large disservice. His pitching was erratic and at sometimes atrocious (see: Reds, Cincinnati), and his meltdown conveyed his emotional issues. He has always been criticized for this on the mound, but once it spilled over into the clubhouse, it became a whole different story. I saw millions slipping away, and in an odd way, I felt bad for him. Even after he went on his 3rd party monologue about this season, he was still poised to give his current team the hometown discount so he could stick around for five more years. Then as they had for 25 previous years, the Tribune Company “expletive” slapped Cubs Fans in the face one last time. “We are selling the team, no more contracts.”
After the first two months of the season this seemed like a good thing. Carlos was underwhelming at best and he may have been hurting the team chemistry. And then things started to change. “Carlos’ second season begins tonight,” he claimed. And boy was he right. Two months later Big Z leads the Majors with 14 wins and his E.R.A. is plummeting with every start.
Sunday night on ESPN’s staple “Baseball Tonight”, Peter Gammons discussed the Zambrano situation. He reminded the audience that the Cubs and Z had a deal in place the night before Opening Day and how it was squashed because of the Tribune Company’s sale. He admitted that the deal in place would have been a great hometown discount for the Cubs. Gammons finished his thought by saying that the contract Z will eventually receive will be DOUBLE of the terms he agreed to with the Cubs last April. DOUBLE, what, are you kidding? Here is the problem….Peter Gammons should be trusted; I know he is old, but he is not senile. He is my most favorite member of the baseball media and a legend in his craft and with his talent. Nonetheless, if this comes to fruition I am going to be steaming, so I have an idea.
Bud Selig should step in and announce that the purchase of the Chicago Cubs will include a new contract for Carlos Zambrano. If he is so worried about who the new owner is and maintaining the greatness of the Cubs and assuring Chicago and it fan base that things will be good, this is the greatest way for him to prove he really means it. Come on, do you really think Mark Cuban or John Canning will withdraw their bid because of one more contract? People we are talking about potentially $1 Billion here, so even if it is for $25 million/year, sign him up.
I am not saying this should be done publicly, in fact, I advocate that it should be done privately. This way, the first order of business for the new owner is signing Carlos. When he or she or they achieve that quickly, the fans in Chicago will immediately take to the new owner guaranteeing that everyone will get off to a great start in this new relationship.
Think about it, John Canning, someone people know little about outside of the Business world, buys the Cubs. The fan base is nervous, no one knows what to expect, and then, within one week, he gives Carlos a $150, six year salary. He would be absolutely loved in Chicago, immediately making up for the fact that he owned part of the Brewers only a month or two before he purchased the Cubs. This would be a great marketing ploy for a new owner and if Bud Selig and Canning really are great friends, then why not help a buddy out!
There are two great months of baseball left, but as Cubs fans we are programmed to continually think about next year, so I am doing as much. Unlike other recent teams, the ball club is built for more than one year and those years should include Big Z. Like Dusty Baker before them, we cannot let the Tribune company supposedly affect this ball club after they are gone, it just would not be right. So as we push forward into this playoff race, I hope someone has the brains to make this happen.
If not, Brian is going to be one angry Cubs fan and you do not want Brian getting mad at you because even Brian is scared of what Brian might do.
Thanks for reading, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and until next time….
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!