Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We have a right to boo

Usually, I like the fiery nature of Carlos Zambrano. I don't mind when he breaks his bat over his knee. I don't mind when he spikes his helmet into the ground. I did mind, however, when Zambrano ran through a stop sign and when he fell apart after running through that stop sign.

When Carlos Zambrano was booed off the field as he was exiting after allowing what would become eight earned runs, it looked like he was taking accountability and was accepting the booing. He appeared to be nodding his head in agreement and pointed to himself as if to say that he knows. In fact, this even caused some fans to change their booing into a cheer: "finally, a player willing to take responsibility".

It turns out, Zambrano was not accepting responsibility. He made his position clear after the game when he lashed out at fans. "I don't accept the fans were booing me," the right-hander said in a post game interview. "They showed me today they just care about them. That's not fair...I pointed to my head because I will remember it. The great moments of my career will come."

If you ask me, those sound like words from someone who doesn't care about the fans...or his team, for that matter.

Perhaps Zambrano should remember where the funds for his $91 million contract are coming from. It comes from each fan who shells out $40 (and in some cases are giving up an entire day) just to watch you guys play. We could just watch the game on television, but we care about you guys so much that we put up with $4 hot dogs and $7 beers to fill the ballpark day after day.

We're not asking for too much. Just that you don't run through stop signs or walk five batters in a game, let alone in two innings. Hell, we don't expect even that from you guys every day; we know that there are rough stretches. We just expect that you guys accept the booing when it comes. Like I said, fans started to console Zambrano by cheering when they thought he was accepting responsibility.

We also expect that you don't lie to us. "I didn't see the stop sign. If I see the stop sign, believe me, I stop," added Zambrano. The only problem is that Carlos clearly did see the stop sign. He almost ran over Mike Quade, who had both hands up in his face, when he was rounding the bag at third.

Derrek Lee, usually a very quiet guy, came to his defense. "I'm not a big fan of booing at home," said the man who hit into two double plays. "Maybe if it's lack of effort, or something like that [it's OK]." Well, Derrek, you'll be glad to know that it is because of a lack of effort. How else do you explain running through stop signs, a lefty specialist (Ohman) throwing four straight fastballs to a lefty (Loney) after two strikes, or a runner (Soto) refusing to run home on a ground ball with the bases loaded? Besides, wasn't Derrek the one that didn't run out a double play ball about a week ago?

You hear about the blue wall in the police force; officers bending over backwards to hide each other and help them escape accountability. Well, it looks like there's a Cubs blue wall as well. You wonder how much of it is the residual effect from Dusty Baker and how much of it is the money and fame turning the ballplayers into greedy people.

Trachsel looks to right ship: Veteran Steve Trachsel will make his first start since rejoining the Cubs later tonight against Brad Penny. Personally, I want Trachsel in the rotation for good and Marshall in the bullpen. This isn't necessarily because I think that Trachsel is the better pitcher (though I do believe that), it's also because the veteran right-hander has more experience. Besides, we can still get use out of Marshall from the bullpen; he's pitched in the bullpen before. Moving Trachsel to the bullpen is out of the question.

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