Back at home after the awesome Terps-Tar Heels showdown at Ludwig Field, I decided to decompress by watching a meaningless Cubs-Giants matchup in San Francisco. One of the things that has precipitated my transformation into a bore on the Trib's coverage of the Northsiders was the exasperated whining about Carlos Zambrano. From what I gather, Caballo's failure to show up to training camp in shape, despite being in the middle of a 5-year, $91.5 million deal; his inability to take reporters' questions seriously; his lack of consistent focus; his inconsistency; his temper; and his unique sense of humor have resulted in constant condescension and derision from certain beat writers. Enough so that the idiotic non-stories of "Will Carlos waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to x?" have become a staple of lazy column-inch filling over the last few months.
Well, long may Z be a target for the Trib. The dipsh*ts that write constantly critical pieces will harp on how Zambrano's performance last night justifies the average fan's frustration (the logic apparently being that because Zambrano is not masterful in the majority of his starts, he is not worth keeping), but I think that even they understand that the average Cubs fan loves Big Z and will always love Big Z because of the mere promise of performances last night. And it is not even what he did on the mound; its breaking up the double play that led to a run scored; its the discipline at the plate that led to another run batted in later in the game; and its the goofy bow to Fukudome at the end of the game.
Carlos Zambrano is one of the best pitchers to don a Cubs uniform. And he has more fun in that job than nearly all that preceded him.