Rather than question the debatable tactic of continuing to pitch to the game's preeminent slugger, starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano(notes) had a different take on how the Cubs have been doing. It wasn't kind.
Zambrano ripped his teammates for playing dumb, "embarrassing" baseball — "like a Triple-A team" — before ending his postgame press conference with: "We stink."
Just like Cubs fans have been saying! Finally, someone on the team noticed! Maybe management finally will "do something" about the embarrassing Cubs.
But before the proletariat gets too excited about Zambrano "telling it like it is," the people should take a close look at what he said.
"The problem wasn't Pujols," Zambrano said. "The problem was the previous at-bat. We should know better than this. We played like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing, embarrassing for the team, for the owners, for the fans. Embarrassing. That's the word for this team. We should know better than this, we should know better than we did on the field. We should know that Ryan Theriot(notes) is not a good fastball hitter. We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That's all I've got to say."
What, specifically, is Zambrano mad about? Take away the fun but vague platitudes about the Cubs playing "like a Triple-A team" and how "embarrassing" they are "for the team, for the owners, for the fans," and how they "should know better," we've got this:
"The problem wasn't Pujols. The problem was the previous at-bat. ... We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter."
He's talking about the Cardinals tying the score with two outs in the ninth on Theriot's RBI double. He's talking about Marmol shaking off the catcher and foolishly throwing a breaking ball — which hung there — for Theriot to take advantage.
He's talking about Marmol blowing a save for the second straight time in a game started by Zambrano and costing him a victory. Not the team — but Zambrano.
Did Marmol mess up? Let's say he did. Since when is it Zambrano's job to publicly point that out? Would it have been Marmol's job to point out all of the times Zambrano has let the Cubs down in the past few years?
In response, the lead columnist for the Chicago Tribune wrote that the team should suspend Zambrano until GM Jim Hendry can trade him. A ridiculous proposition, if you think about it. And one that won't fix what ails the Cubs.
Respondents to a Tribune poll back Big Z. Also, as if what he said was going to lead to someone fixing what's really wrong with the team.
So where does that leave the Cubs? Where they were before. I believe Zambrano said something about "Triple-A."