Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zambrano Not That Shitty

Some jerk store from Chicago Now has a less than interesting piece on how Carlos Zambrano is the most overpaid player in the Majors. Well, he is in a down year, but the most overpaid, that seems like a stretch. Seems like a piece I can steal FJM's ideas with. Lets see what he says.

I am so sick of hearing that Carlos Zambrano is the "ace" of the Cubs staff and that he is considered one of the best starters in the baseball.

Just the beginning of unjustified claims and horrible uses of quotations. I have not heard the argument that Zambrano is one of the best starters in baseball in awhile, and that is most likely because people realize he is not. What he is: a very good starter who can be a legitimate #1 starter on a good team.

That is such a pile of garbage and it is about time people start to call this guy what he really is, a fraud.

A fraud? Why? He pitches well for a Major league team. People have down years, maybe it is due to lack of a certain illegal substance. Maybe it is because he has an undisclosed injury. Carlos capitalized with a great season in a booming economy, and he obtained a juicy 5 year/ $91 million deal. I would not call that fraudulent or garbage.

Zambrano is not a big game pitcher, he is not an ace, and if the Cubs can, I believe they will look to move him and his bloated contract out of Chicago as soon as possible.

Alright lets see what evidence he provides to show that Zambrano isn't a BIG GAME pitcher or an ace. It shouldn't be tough. The Cubs have been a contender for most of Zambrano's career, I'm sure he had some poor performances in big games. I'm also positive he has had some decent performances in big games. (Postseason record: 5 games, 0-2, 4.34 ERA, 27 K, 8 BB, 5 Unearned runs. While this may not be spectacular, is it really Carlos' fault that he has clearly had little run support and defensive support in these games?)

What qualities does a #1 starter have? How about piling up wins? Zambrano has averaged 14 wins a season since he became a full time starter in 2003.

In 2003, Zambrano was a young pitcher. After that, he posted 16, 14, 16, 18 *Contract Year*, 14. Wait, lets look at those stats closer. He also posted his worst ERA and second highest career WHIP in the year that he had 18 wins. That does not even make sense. O that's right, because wins are a fairly stupid stat. A win is a team stat, and should not be used to evaluate an individual performance. Look at Carlos' WAR from 2003-08: 4.9, 4.7, 4.5, 3.9, 2.8 (2007), 2.8. So in the year Carlos had his largest amount of wins, he had his highest ERA, second highest WHIP, and lowest WAR. Dave Kaplan's first point, PULL! BANG!

Does he play the role of leader on the club? Don't make me laugh. He is immature, doesn't work as hard as the Cubs would like, and he is not what one would consider a big game pitcher.

Please do not mistake passion for winning, and overly competitive for immature. How does his smashing of one cooler make people on the team respect him less? Has anyone ever heard a player say Carlos is not a leader? I have not.

Many times Zambrano has had a chance to stop a losing streak or to win a big game and he has failed a majority of those times.

I refuse to look up all of the big games Carlos has pitched in these past few years, but Dave, you are the one making the point. Are you going to give me an example?

The facts don't lie.

You haven't given any facts.

The Cubs are paying for top flight performance from a pitcher who has the skills to be a big winner. However, Zambrano's performance does not warrant such a big contract and his 18 million dollar annual salary is one of the deals that is limiting financial flexibility for the front office.

His performance in the years leading up to his contract warranted the contract that he got. How can you yell at management for making this deal? I guarantee that Dave was not outraged by this deal when it happened.

Talk to the scouts that attend every game the Cubs play and they all bemoan his incredible physical talents and lack of productivity for a guy whose reputation is that of a superstar.

Sorry I am an unemployed engineer, I do not have the resources to talk to a Major League Scout. I did once talk to a stat guru for the Cardinals, which was a shining moment of my life.

Zambrano has won all of 7 games this season. That's it.

Again, down year. His GB/FB ratio is really low this year, but his ERA is better than usual.

He has had incidents with a Gatorade machine, been suspended for his outburst towards a home plate umpire, and has had two stints on the disabled list. Seven wins for 18 million dollars and enough headaches for management to drive them crazy.

The Gatorade cooler incident was hilarious. Did you see how far he threw that ball before freaking out? Also, he threw out the umpire!!!

Check out Zambrano's contract terms and you will see that the Cubs have done their part in paying him to be a star. He has not lived up to his end of the bargain though and he has no one to blame but himself. He cannot control his temper and those who observe his antics on a day to day basis know he is far from the superstar pitcher that some believe he is.

I believe Barry Zito, AJ Burnett, and Jason Schmidt are still in the league. The Cubs could have done worse.

Perhaps his back is injured this time. Maybe he truly needs to be on the DL and will be gone for an extended period of time.

Hey, that would be a logical explanation for a lack of production.

That may be true but it still does not explain his lack of emotional control and his startlingly poor productivity in big games. In four post season series Zambrano is 0-2 with an ERA of 4.34. He has won 18 games once (18-13 in 2007) and 16 twice.

0-2, 5 games. 5 unearned runs. Sure he's not Sandy Koufax, but he also isn't a bum. A pitcher can only do so much.

That's it. No 20 win seasons, no Cy Young Awards, a grand total of 8 complete games in 9 total seasons in the big leagues. He may be a #2-3 starter on a good team but to pay him as a #1 is ridiculous.

Wait, how many times have you used 'That's it.' to end a thought? Like 8 times already? Also, the amount of 20 win pitchers recently has been few (don't care to look it up). They only give out 1 Cy Young a year, and very few pitchers throw complete games anymore. Those are all bad examples, Dave.

It is time for the Cubs to find a taker for the antics and the talents of Carlos Zambrano. I know that he has a no trade clause but perhaps Zambrano would also like a fresh start in a new city. He may have a golden arm but we have seen far too many other "qualities" from the man they call "Big Z" to call him an ace or a reliable starter on a team with championship aspirations. Pack your bags Carlos, it's time to take your act to another team. We've tired of you and your immaturity.

Thank you for using quotations on every other word in your last paragraph. Thank you for supporting 0 of your claims. Thank you for using 0 good statistics to measure Zambrano's past performances. Thank you for writing this gem of a piece.


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