Zambrano rant could benefit Cubs
If Tom Ricketts has a sense of humor — and judging by his purchase of the Cubs, he must — his next move is obvious.
Print up a couple hundred thousand T-shirts and sell them for the next few months at Wrigley Field so fans can walk into the park wearing on their chests the phrase, "We Stinks!"
It would acknowledge he's aware of how bad this is and at the same time poke fun at the nightmare that is 2011.
In an odd way it also would recognize that Carlos Zambrano shouldn't have been forced to scream from the rooftops what those staying away from the rooftops already know.
It should have been the manager, but Mike Quade is either oblivious or simply refuses to say what every Cubs fan sees.
Everything Zambrano said following Sunday's game was true, up to and including Carlos Marmol's mistake to Ryan Theriot.
The Cubs do resemble a Triple-A team, from their personnel to their lack of fundamentals, concentration, preparation and hustle.
And all of that, some would say, is an insult to Triple-A teams.
Still, Zambrano should be applauded for telling the truth, though he never should have targeted Marmol.
It's not what a good teammate, leader or professional does to a fellow player.
Marmol has been an outstanding closer for the Cubs, and he didn't deserve to have Zambrano throw him under the bus — and then back up over him.
Even if he were terrible, you just don't do that to a teammate publicly, something no Cubs player has done to Zambrano despite the many opportunities they've had to blast him for poor performances the last couple of years.
Nevertheless, if truth is the ultimate defense, Zambrano was correct in what he said, and to his credit he was under control during his rant and constantly referred to the terrible performances as "We," with a heavy emphasis on using the collective "We."
Credit GM Jim Hendry for letting it go without punishment, which would have been absurd since everything Zambrano said happens to be right.
Besides, Hendry has done more than most will ever know to discipline Zambrano over the years and also to get him help for his anger-management issues — for all the good it's done.
In this case, Zambrano's only mistake was in criticizing a specific teammate, but his apology to Marmol was completely appropriate and that should be the end of it.
Who knows, maybe it will briefly shock to life a sleepy team and a slumbering manager, though that's a wager you ought not entertain enthusiastically.
Zambrano probably grew tired of waiting for Quade to hold someone accountable and he simply snapped.
Cubs fans know the feeling.
Quade's response was soft and expected based on similar remarks he has made this season whenever pressed on the issue of responsibility.
But if there's a silver lining to this minor-league mess, perhaps it's that Zambrano will get so sick of losing that a month from now he'll be willing to waive his no-trade, and Ricketts could bank some serious cash with such a move.
That remains to be seen.
In the meantime, he can probably pay a month or two of payroll with Zambrano's help.
If he can't sell tickets, at least he can sell T-shirts with two everlasting words:
•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.
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