Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano had his annual meltdown on Friday, going berserk in the dugout after surrendering four runs in the first inning to the White Sox. His actions were extreme, disrespectful, inappropriate, embarrassing, and it made him look like he was hopped up on drugs. The Cubs did the right thing by sending him home and saying he would be suspended indefinitely. However, I disagree with their decision to move him to the bullpen once he’s reactivated. Still, even moving him back to the bullpen is better than this idiotic suggestion by Chicago Tribune writer Phil Rogers. Rogers personifies what media overreaction is all about and gives sports writers a bad name with horrible ideas like this one:
The only way to trade a guy like that is to take someone’s bad contract off their hands. The Astros’ Carlos Lee fits that bill (can you imagine him and Alfonso Soriano on the same diamond?) but the one that makes a little sense is Kei Igawa, the little lefty who cost the Yankees $46 million and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008, working on his craft with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
While I can agree that there’s merit to the idea that the Cubs might have to get rid of Zambrano, feeling like all you can do is settle for a stiff like Kei Igawa is exactly why you shouldn’t trade him. First off, not only is Houston so far away from winning where I don’t think they would want Zambrano, but how would adding Carlos Lee help? That would create a further logjam of outfielders, giving the Cubs six pretty good ones with only three available spots. That wouldn’t help them at all. Now acquiring Igawa? Zambrano is a three-time All-Star who’s finished 5th in Cy Young balloting three times and he’s thrown a no-hitter. He might not be an ace anymore but he still has a record of being a very good pitcher. How on earth would it help the Cubs to trade a guy who has consistently been a good pitcher for someone who’s never proven he can get out a major league hitter?