6/6 Agree, disagree with Big Z?

It was tough to watch Albert Pujols hit a game-winning homer for the second straight day and lead the Cardinals to a win over the Cubs on Sunday. Carlos Zambrano then added to the bad mood with his post-game comments. Zambrano clearly wanted his opinion to be heard. He was in line for the win if Carlos Marmol doesn’t give up the RBI double in the ninth to Ryan Theriot. Zambrano spoke loudly and clearly during his post-game rant. This wasn’t like the dugout tirade last June at U.S. Cellular Field when he yelled at teammates, prompting a three-game suspension and anger management therapy.

On Sunday, Zambrano said the Cub were “embarrassing,” that they were playing like a Triple-A team. “We stink,” he said. You may agree with Zambrano’s assessment of the team.

What’s troublesome is calling out his teammates in the clubhouse. That’s usually something done behind closed doors, not in front of the media.

Do you agree with what Zambrano did?

— Carrie Muskat


Zambrano’s comments usually embarass me but it’s about time somebody said it this year. I’d prefer they just cut all these high-priced veteran underachivers and go with a full youth movement.

I agree whole heartedly. It’s time to start fresh, be patient and stop throwing good money after bad…

I have no issue with what Zambrano did. He just spoke what we fans have been thinking for a long while now. Yes what he said is normally said behind closes doors but sometimes it’s mire effective to air out grievances publicly.

100% agree. Someone needed to do it. The owner thinks the problems are only because of injuries. With the exception of a couple of players, this team plays stupid and lazy. The managing has been atrocious. James Russell started five times! Batting pitchers when a pinch hitter was necessary. Leaving pitchers in for way too long. Our #1 pitcher has not stepped up. Our batters are TERRIBLE with runners in scoring position. They were swept by the ASTROS! Pujols had TWO walk off homeruns in TWO straight games.

They had their private meetings! That didn’t work. They needed to be called out in public. Zambrano seems like one of the few veterans wanting to do something about the team’s miserable playing.

What did he say thatb anyone can seriously disagree with? This isn’t a rant; this is leadership.

Comments should have been behind closed doors. We are embarrassing enough without airing all the dirty laundry.

Z is correct. Hopefully what he said is a wake up call to these over payed vetrans, who have clearly given up.

Big Z was right on here. It’s been really frustrating for fans and it’s good to know at least one player cares.

Big Z said what we all think. The Cubs don’t look like they will compete for a playoff spot. So it comes down to the team and the rest of the season. Get rid of Z and at least give this team a new start and more relaxed Clubhouse.

Do you agree with what Zambrano did? No. Do I agree with what he said? Yes. He should not have called out his peers in public, but as a senior member on the eam I’m sure he is sick of the play & managing. Letting Albert Pujols beat you TWO DAYS IN A ROW. Walk him. I would say the Quade experiment has failed & the Cubs made a huge error letting a Cubs great, Hall of Famer and perhaps forced a future manager to leave the organization. GO CUBS GO!

I agree with what Z said, but it would have been better to not throw Marmol under the bus at the same time.

I have always like Zambrano, and I do not have an issue with what he said. As a fan it is nice to hear someone is upset about how the team is playing instead of feeding us the company line we continually get from Quade, Hendry, and Ricketts. However, it is never right to call out a teammate through the media, and I feel that it is definitley time for Big Z to move on. With that said though, I have no faith in Jim Hendry or Mike Quade to appropriately handle the situation or the potential trading of Zambrano.
This team needs to be dismantled from the top down.

At least Big Z showed some life and he gave his all, more of the seasoned players need to take after Z and get fired up and either play or quit. The younger players have showed alot of life and if the rookies can provide a spark then let them play and lets see what they can do and if the high priced players dont like it then oh well. Outside of Fuke, Barney, Castro and of late Pena, everyone else needs to be benched until further notice.

EMBARASSING???? I think Big Z is being kind…….this is beyond embarassing. My assessment is that this is an entire organizational faliure, from the GM, to management and finally the players. If I ran my company the way the Cubs have played this season, I would be out of business in a month. I had hoped for improved fundamentals this season, but based on some of the “boneheaded” moves from Q and player performances on the field, I guess that was too much to hope for. I usually do not agree with Z when he goes off like this, but this time he is 1,000% on the mark – the Cubs do STINK.

why would anyone disagree with Z? This team has been mismanaged for awhile now from TOP to bottom…. its time for Ricketts to pull his head out and do something about it! GROW A PAIR!!!!!!!

100% agree with Z. I support him this time. He said what my fellow Cub fans have been saying around the water cooler for weeks. It was refreshing to see.

I love Zambrano. I always have. He’s been emotional and reactive at times, but I think this time it was controlled frustration. He was NOT over the top this time. I have enjoyed watching some new players (especially Darwin Barney), but with the injuries stacking up the team has become a AAA or a “AAAA” team. I’m afraid it’s going to be a rough year for we Cubs fans.

His comments were accurate, but he absolutely picked the wrong forum. If the Cubs are going to go young (which they appear to be doing by necessity, rather than design), you can’t have one of your highest paid players calling teammates out publicly. The Cubs need veteran leadership that demonstrate the right way to play and the right way to behave in the majors. Right now, they have neither.

Not to change the subject, but related to AAA Management moves – in what universe would you EVER pitch to Pujols with first base open late in the game or extras. Okay, I might be very remotely convinced with Saturday (not), but two days in a row. Absolutely unacceptable. How can the players or fans have confidence in Q, when he’s giving away games against our #1 rivals and now we are 11 Games OUT. I can’t wait til the White Sox series to see how we will hand those games to them on a silver platter.

Zambrano was absolutely right. He didn’t call out Marmol by name. He took ownership as well as part of this “embarassing” team. “We should know better than this.” “We are playing like a triple A team.” “We should know that Theriot is not a good fastball hitter… as a team.” “We should play better here.” “We stinks.”
Way to tell it like it is, Big Z!

The Cubs do stink and are very embarrassing and so were Ricketts comments that there is nothing wrong with the Cubs but a few injuries. I truly hope he doesn’t really believe that. This team has a long way to go to get back to be a contending team, certainly more then just getting back Johnson Baker and Soriano off the DL. They had some injuries to starting Pitchers, ok fine use that as an excuse if you want but the truth is this organization could not come up with one not one single Pitcher to step in and pitch well. The problem is Mr. Ricketts is that Zambrano is right, this team STINKS

Zambrano seems to be the only one in that locker room that cares enough about winning to call it like it is when they are going bad. I don’t understand how people can even come out against him when he seems to be the only guy with competitive fire in that club house. You can just see in the body language of the players that they don’t want to win as nearly as much as Z does. But the problems go much further than that. Jim Hendry is getting his 3rd chance to rebuild this team. You know how many GM even get a 2nd chance to rebuild? Lets shake things up a little bit. Mike Quade has shown me NOTHING as a manager so far. There is no accountability on the Cubs and Quade is the reason for it. You can’t tell me Ryne Sandberg wouldn’t be doing a better job than Quade. The record may be the same, but at least Sandberg wouldn’t let his players kick the ball around and play lackluster baseball without holding people accountable. This whole organization lacks a toughness and an edge that it takes to WIN.

I would have to think that Big Z will smooth things over with Marmol as Marmol really is not THE problem, he just happened to be in the spotlight during one of Quade’s brain cramps. It’s too bad Big Z didn’t call out AND single out the main culprit…HENDRY. Hendry for hiring Quade over Sandberg and decimating the roster with LOOOOONG, BAD contracts for Soriano and Fukodome and an incredibly bad (albeit short) contract for Pena. Can Big Z (or any starter) take the mound seriously thinking his big “RBI” guys are going to score a bunch of runs? NO. We wouldn’t even be talking about 3-2, “tight”, late inning losses OR Albert Pujols if Hendry did a better job. Who thinks Pena will have one walk off homerun let alone 2 days in a row. Hendry gives away A LOT of money but not for “money” players. Can you imagine the fall out if Hendry takes ANY kind of disciplinary action against Z??? All this losing would be a little more palatable IF the team ACTUALLY WAS bunch of AAA call ups trying to gain their feet in the major leagues and preparing themselves for the next 2-5 years. But Hendry has this misconception that signing a few veterans every stinking year WILL DO THE JOB. How long will it take for ANYBODY to figure out Hendry’s way is the WRONG WAY?

Well, you start out with a AAA manager and go from there. Quade looks lost out there lately. No leadership, not from management or players. Take a pitch every once in awhile. Get man in from third with less than two outs.

finally, someone w/ a set of cojones; but he should apologize to marmol.

It makes no sense to suspend him and try and trade him. If you suspend a player, what team is going to want him? Setting aside the fact that he shouldn’t be suspended for telling the truth, if the Cubs were going to trade him it would not make sense to bench him, but showcase him. If the Cubs traded him they better get something good in return. Not a bunch of prospects we will never hear about again, because Z has been far too valuable this season. In fact I only watch now if it is him or Garza on the mound.

Zambrano should be suspended and traded. This is the last straw.

Danny Baggot, if Big Z should be suspended for doing THAT….then what “punishement” should be handed out to Hendry for COMPLETLEY RUINING AN ENTIRE BALLCLUB? After all if one such as yourself is fed up WITH Big Z, how about the genious that extended his contract for tons of money? I think Big Z has actually behaved much better than he has before and even these comments are understandable considering the circumstances of Quade ALLOWING the best hitter in baseball two, TWO walk off homers in consecutive days! After publicly stating “I’ve learned something” (on Saturday) Quade proves he learned NOTHING. And neither has Hendry. They should both be forced to sit in the left field corner wearing dunce hats along with QUITE POSSIBLY THE BIGGEST, MOST EXPENSIVE MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF GENERAL MANAGING….ALFONSO SORIANO.

I only live an hour from St. Louis and have been a die hard Cubs fan among a sea of red my entire life. I was at the game Friday and it was obviously the start to an embarassing series. I love Big Z and have no problem with his comments. Being a fan has become even more unbearable than it normally is, I can only imagine having to play on the team. I am sad to say this may be my last year as a Cubs fan, you can only wait till next year so many times.

EM, I would have to say any Cub fan under the age of 90 should NEVER GIVE UP! Hendry can’t last forever. If we get a good GM within the next two years we fans under the age of 90 can still look forward to at least the usual slim to none miracle of a World Series. But anybody over the age of 90 may never have that chance while Hendry is around.

I agree wth

I agree with Z, and i think all of the other players should
stand by what he said. I think Q should be gone and try
to convince Sanberg to come to Chicago, Q is to much like
Lou Pinella. and if they trade Z and keep some of the other
high paid players that don’t know what base to throw to
then I being a Cub fan for 60 years and live in Wis. will
start being a Brewer fan, they know how to play ball.

Z’s right. They do stink. It’s time for the players to give back. As in the money they are paid to do their job. Because they are not.

Z can say what he wants, but it should be to the team behind closed doors.

Hi Carrie,

Thanks for posing a questing that we can respond to. I’ve long been frustrated with the underachieving, overpaid players on the Cubs. I don’t say this out of anger, I say this because they don’t achieve what their enormous contracts pay them to do. People (including myself) are often critical of Jim Hendry for bogging down the team with back-loaded, bloated contracts. What’s even worse about those contracts is that they make the fans see players in a different light. How many of us would cheer for Soriano if he was being paid what he’s worth instead of whatever ARodian number he’s making? It makes you question the motivation and drive of each player who is not performing. This leads to negative attitudes in the clubhouse because guys feel the pressure mounting in their relationship with the fans.
I was very vocal about the Milton Bradley signing right away. What Hendry failed to realize was that his horrible reputation wasn’t going to allow for any margin of error with the fans. He started slow, the fans killed him, he hated the fans, then he hated the team, now we’re paying Carlos Silva to pitch in the Yankee system. You see, to be a great GM you have to be a big picture guy. Hendry is not. Hendry focuses on past statistics and overpays for them. He looks at confined windows (pretty much one good year in Texas is his rule of thumb) and then rolls the dice.
Now you have a fan base that is becoming disinterested. You have a fan base that feels the way Lou Piniella did in his last couple seasons. We’re frustrated, but we know that Hendry is incapable of righting the ship so we just can’t care anymore. That’s what makes Z so refreshing. He’ll come right out and say what we’ve been saying all along and what Len and Bob are not allowed to. You really can just about throw a dart into that dugout and hit someone who would be a better fielder that Soriano.
I think that there is a time for private airing of frustrations. I believe that time came and went with some closed doors meetings earlier in the season. Now it’s time to throw down the gauntlet and see who on this team has the heart to win.
Unfortunately, like I told my buddy Marlon, it doesn’t just take heart, it takes pitching. Mr. Hendry has done a heck of a job getting rid of any organizational depth at that spot.
This is an organization that has been famously burned by injuries to pitchers. Tell me how the Cubs head into this season by trading away Gorzellany and cutting Looper. Tell me how the Cubs go into this season with an insurance policy named James Russel and Casey Coleman.


I have been a die hard Cub fan since I was old enough to say Cub. In the lean years, good and bad I have never waivered. This is the first time ever, that I have very little confidence on the team on the field. With the exception of a few players, I feel like the team is just going thru the motions. I did not have a problem with what Carlos did or said. The simple fact remains……. He hit the nail on the head when he said the team is embarrassing. That being said, I still love my Cubbies.

I agree 100% with Big Z. I hope the likes of Jim Hendry, Mike Quade, Bruce Miles, Gene Woj, Rick Reily blah blah blah blah blah (hopefully not you Muskat) do not burn this bridge for us fans. We like this because he’s sick of the lack luster performance. It cannot be assumed that this is the first its been spoken, just the first outside of the clubhouse. Everyone keeps saying Z is throwing his teammates under the bus. WHAT?!?!?! He made NO mistakes today. He did not lose this game. Yet he says WE are embarrassing. WE stink. Get a clue everyone, this is leadership.

I agree with Z… I like Hendry, and maybe he stay with the org in a different capacity but it’s time for a change

we need an organization wide philosophy change..

we need to get deeper into advanced metrics, need to learn how to teach our hitters how to walk in the minors (were last or near last in OBP for each team in the org) & we need to do a better job using our monetary advantage over the NLC

we should never be 11 games under .500 a week into June… i don’t care if 5/5 of our rotation goes down first week out of spring training..

Agree with Zambrano’s assessment of the team. Carrie, hope you tally these up and post a “follow up” since you proposed the question. It looks to be overwhelming support for Zambrano.

I agree with Zambrano – and if he didn’t do it, Quade (hopefully) was going to.

I almost feel bad for the Ricketts’ – and some of the “feedback” Tom is offered in the stands shouldn’t be heard by my son. Then I realized what this is costing me, to see a game…
Thank God for minor league baseball

I agree. We stink. We started the year looking good “on paper,” but haven’t delivered. It’s no fun to watch (or listen to) Cubs games.

Totally agree with Zambrano. Typically I wouldnt like anyone making such comments, but the Cubs are an embarrassment and it can’t be glossed over any longer.

I agree with Zambrano. He has a lot of passion for the game
and to bad that it hasn’t rubed off on some of the other
players. Also where is the pitching coach. Rothchild use to go out to the mound 3 or 4 times when there was trouble.
We hardle see Riggins out there. Isn’t her suppose to coach
his pitchers in a situation like pitching to Pujols ?

I don’t blame Z. Anger management training or not, there’s only so much of this a guy can take. He’s pitched very well this year, and he sees a team literally falling down around him.
The sad part is, this team has a lot of promise. Darwin Barney has been fabulous. The league is adjusting to him a little but he’s playing consistently well. Pena’s defense and maturity are pluses and he’s actually starting to hit. Soriano continues his streaky ways but when he’s good, he’s very good. Bench players have been excellent — Johnson when he’s healthy first among them, but they’ve gotten good contributions from Camapana and Montanez, DeWitt and Baker too. The back end of the bullpen, recent misadventures notwithstanding, is solid. Hits-wise (not power but hits), this team is not that far behind the ML-leading Cards (check the numbers). But there remains an awful malaise. Aramis is sleepwalking out there. There’s just no hustle in the guy, even though he’s capable of playing brilliantly. I don’t believe in curses but why in the world must this happen to the Cubs? Two walkoff extra-inning losses to the Cardinals in a row after decently played and well-pitched games? Horrible, horrible. They’ve had terrible luck and bad injuries this year.
Yes, I’ve told my son…this is what it means to be a Cubs fan.

Carlos was correct in his comments. After watching the Cubs play in Los Angeles this year I was very impressed with the advanced scouting the Dodgers organization did with pitch selection and the defensive positioning of their players in the field. I hope the Cubs organization takes notice and learns from Sunday’s loss at St. Louis. Their are trades to be made but not Carlos Zambrano. Ron Z. Moorpark,Ca.

Big Z said what we as fans have been saying and thinking….
This is not a major league level team. Case in point.. Tyler Colvin… how do you bat .091 and keep your roster spot.
Alfonso Soriano… Do you know what that big leather thing on your left hand is for? I am so tired of watching him play left field. Aramis Ramirez…. please drop him down to the 8 slot where he belongs.. 2 home runs. In fact just release him, his defense is just average and his AVG with RSP is atrocious… I can’t watch this trainwreck anymore

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