Carlos Zambrano has crossed into Milton Bradley territory.
Criticizing the team’s leader, Derrek Lee, for a lack of effort is simply ridiculous…no more so than Zambrano’s tiresome act or Bradley’s umpire tirades.
I’ve never defended Zambrano’s childish behavior–which should have subsided years ago–but Cubs management is partly responsible, too. They’ve enabled Zambrano’s antics by not suspending him before…now it’s finally caught up to them.
I will, however, credit Lou and Hendry with handling this latest embarrassment with poise. But how can you welcome back a player who refuses to mature, refuses to earn his god-awful contract, and continuously embarrasses himself and the organization?
It’s simply, really…you can’t.
Zambrano’s days with the Cubs are numbered…and while that might seem to the Cubs’ advantage, it’s not.
Dealing this knucklehead won’t be easy. His market value has never been lower…3-6 with an ERA over 5.00…and his latest meltdown doesn’t help.
Worse, there’s still a whopping $45M left on his contract that runs through 2012, which means the Cubs will get stuck eating a large portion of that money in any deal.
I have no doubt other GMs will inquire about Zambrano’s services (circus routine) before the trade deadline. And while it only takes one team to tango…the Cubs are almost certain to get a raw deal in return. Granted, Carlos Silva has worked out nicely!
But at this point, there’s no other option for Z. The distraction is too big, the peace of mind too important, for the Cubs to move forward with Zambrano on the roster.