Rogers: Cubs should give Zambrano the boot

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune is fed up with Cubs’ starter Carlos Zambrano and thinks the club should drop kick Big Z to the curb.

Get Carlos Zambrano out of here, even if the Cubs have to give him away. He’s not the guy you want as the ace of a curse-busting team, and at this point, it’s wishful thinking that he’ll ever mature into that guy.

Proving that I did not attend Kellogg, Wharton or even the Acme School of Business, I offer this proposition for Jim Hendry: First thing Monday morning, put Zambrano on waivers. If anyone claims him and the $62.75 million left on his contract, which runs through 2012, immediately trade him for whatever is being offered, from a bag of balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer.

Because Hendry gave Zambrano a full no-trade clause in a 2007 contract extension, Zambrano can choose: Either go where he’s being dealt, waving goodbye to Wrigley Field, or block the trade and deal with the knowledge that you’re playing for a team that believes it can live without you.

There are many reasons that a Cubs’ team with more than $140 million invested in payroll is in fourth place in the National League Central, and one of them is a front-runner, not a difference-maker.

The Cubs are 0-5 in Zambrano’s starts in the playoffs, being outscored 31-15. We’ll dismiss the 2003 NL Championship Series as old news and blame Piniella for lifting him when he was in a 1-1 game against Brandon Webb in the 2007 playoff opener, but his pitching had as much to do with the ugly Game 2 loss to Los Angeles last year as did the four infield errors.

Hendry had a chance to let Zambrano walk as a free agent after 2007, the season in which he beat up catcher Michael Barrett during a game at Wrigley, but injuries to Mark Prior and Kerry Wood gave Zambrano a hammer.

Too bad the one he now swings makes funny noises, like the one Moe favored when whacking Larry and Curly.

This seems to me like Rogers is either a) frustrated about the Cubs’ recent woes and decided to write an anger-piece or b) is just trying to get a rise out of readers right now because he’s tired of writing about how bad the Cubs’ offense is.

Either way, this article is absolutely absurd. Zambrano might lose his mind a couple times a start, but he’s still a damn good pitcher. You don’t put your ace on waivers and take “a bag of balls” or a “32-year old minor-leaguer.” The Cubs are trying to win (stop laughing – they are), not give away quality players like used toys at a garage sale.

This is an article that probably sounded good in Rogers’ head, but it just didn’t play well on paper.

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