How the Media Paints Zambrano
Previously we talked about how the Cubs really suck and how they should probably build for 2012 and beyond. Fearless leader Anno Catuli goes one step further, suggesting that the Cubs might not be good until 2013. Given how tough the schedule gets this June, it might not be all that pretty going forward, but as Cubs fans we always have hope until the team is mathematically eliminated.
A funny thing with the Chicago media is that they seem to like to pick fights. As you know, Carlos Zambrano had his second quality start in a row against an NL Central foe, and for the second straight time, it was wasted by a Carlos Marmol blown save. The first one against the Astros was just a really bad night for Marmol; the one against the Cardinals was one part bad execution, and one part "where the fuck was Tyler Colvin playing?" In the first game, Z broke a bat over his knee and the media had a field day with that, spenidng countless paragraphs on his anger issues and injury concerns even though Z could probably break a tank in half without any damage to himself. Very few words were spent on the fact that he had held the Astros in check for eight innings.
Similarly, on Sunday, Z pitched seven solid innings and probably could have gone more, but it was hot and he had thrown a lot of pitches. At the end of the game, after Albert Pujols had won it in extras on a walk-off homer again, Z had some choice words for the team and perhaps some insinuations about his teammates' performances. Notorious Z-hater Paul Sullivan also wrote about Z's throwing Marmol under the bus and upsetting clubhouse chemistry. Another journalist and potential idiot David Haugh suggested that it was time to cut ties with Zambrano. The only one who defended Z's statements was Bruce Miles. In fact, from my point of view, it seems like most Cubs fans are solidly in Z's corner. The team sucks and is an embarrassment. To suggest that we need to discipline or even move Z, who's been easily our best pitcher in a lost season, is stupid to say the least. What has he said that is wrong other than accusing Marmol of throwing a bad pitch? But if that's the way the media wants it, so be it. Jim Hendry, please trade Carlos Zambrano to the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, both of whom need starting pitching, and we can get some prospects back and I can see my favorite Cub since Sammy Sosa finally win a World Series because the Chicago media is too stupid to know what they have until he's gone, and the organization is too stupid to win anyway. Seriously, the only one who talked substantially about Z's solid start and not so much the comments was Bruce Miles.
Thanks to And Counting of the Obstructed View blog, I got a brilliant idea for a parody to describe how I feel about the Chicago media. By the way, you can win an Obstructed View T-shirt if your snarky prediction is right.
How the Media Paints Zambrano (inspired by Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas")
Cubs fan in Cubsville should like Zambrano a lot...
But the media in Chicago did not!
The media hated Zambrano! No matter the season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his contract wasn't set up quite right.
It could be, perhaps, of the rare dugout fights.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May be that the journalists' dicks were a tad too small.
But! Whatever the reason,
The contract or blowups,
They just kept on writing, hating Z all up,
Writing in their moms' basements with their keyboards of hate
Trying to paint Zambrano as lame and irate.
For they knew every Cubs fan in Cubsville relied
On the information surrounding their nefarious lies.
"And they'll listen to our words!" they say with their sneers.
"We'll get rid of Zambrano! He'll want out of here!"
Then they growled, on keyboards, fingers viciously tapping,
"We MUST find some way to get this plan happ'ning!"
For, afterwards, they knew...
...all the fan girls and boys
Would hate bright and early. They'd fall for their ploys!
And then! They'll make noise! They'll make Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
They'll start on up hating! With NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then the fans, young and old, would pooh-pooh all Z's feats!
Were there feats? Z has feats?
There're no feats! Feats? Feats?! Feats!!
So what if he wins games, hits homers or throws pitches that're neat?
Zambrano is someone they couldn't stand in the least!
And THEN they'd do something to set Z up for a fall!
Every Cubs fan in Cubsville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, Zambrano mudslinging,
They'd stand hand-in-hand. And then they'd start stinging!
They'd sting! And they'd sting! AND they'd STING! STING! STING! STING!
And the more the media thought of this Z mudslinging,
The more that they thought, "Oh how badly we'll sting!
Why, for ten whole years we've put up with him now!
We MUST get Z out of town...but HOW?"
Then they got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE MEDIA GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
"We know just what to do!" The media laughed in their throats.
And they made up some lies while sac'ing a goat.
And they chuckled, and clucked, "We journalists have tricks!
With total lack of tact, we'll paint Z as a dick!"
"All I need is some good dirt..." The media looked around.
But, since Z was a cool guy, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the Media....?
No! They just simply said,
"If I can't find any dirt, I'll make some up instead!"
So they racked their brains. Then they scratched their bald heads
And they thought up some ploys to stop Z's career dead.
THEN they loaded their files
And cherrypicked stats
With a ramshackle story
Those inglorious hacks!
Then they continued to fib
And they put the pen down
As they set on their plan for the Cubs
To run Z out of town.
Oh, were their hearts dark. At Zambrano they glared.
And the "journalists" slandered poor Z without care
As the newspapers fell on each newstand and stair.
"This is step number one," the ugly media hissed
And they wringed their dirty fingers and clenched their fists.
Then they really got nasty. They were real jerks.
They spun those bad stories. They gave them the works.
They laid it on Z, that whole media zoo.
They pretended there was strife in the locker room
Where the little Cubs would fight and get into a row.
"These stories," they grinned, "will make sure Z goes!"
Their words slithered and slunk, oh it was most unpleasant,
As they portended doom for Z's continued presence
In Chicago or anywhere in baseball in fact
They didn't really care for they had no tact
As they continued to bag. Then the media, very nimbly,
Stated opinions as fact in a manner simply!
Then they got to stage two. They downplayed poor Z's feats!
No Cy Youngs, no 20-wins, why do we pay this beast?
It mattered not that the offense was weak.
Why bother when they could paint Z as a freak?
Then they put pen to paper with malice and glee.
"And NOW!" grinned the media, "I will get to stage three!"
And the media took Zambrano's anger and fleshed it out
And said that Z's temper would cause him to pout.
He'd crash down fast, that's what he would do!
He'd never win a Cy Young, heck, much less win two.
But the media didn't expect that their mighty Z slaughter
Would meet resistance from the Cubs fans and wouldn't hold water.
The fans stared at the media and said, "Paul Sullivan, why,
Why are you slandering our beloved Z? WHY?"
But, you know, that old Sully was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my dear sweet readers," the phony journalist lied,
"There's my side of the story and then there's his side.
So you are only getting my side in writing, it's true.
But Z has said nothing. So he should be booed."
And his fib fooled some fans, but others still said
That the stories were lies and were ignored instead.
But that didn't stop the dirty media from coming up
With more slander to mess Z's image up!
When at last they were finished,
They would snuff out Z's fire!
And they'd still keep their jobs as professional liars.
The fans for their stories would never tire.
And the one speck of ethics
They had in the house
Was destroyed when their mousetrap killed the house mouse.
Then they did the same thing as they did with Sammy Sosa
Leaving lies and hate that would make poor Z gosa!
And despite Z's good starts...
All the strikeouts, and popouts,
The homers he'd hit,
The fact that he got outs,
To help out the bullpen, the charity, the fan pages,
The autographs and the teamwork? Who cares, he has rages!
Three thousand words later, with nary a mention of good starts,
The media was ready to tear Zambrano apart!
"Pooh-Pooh to Z too!" they were evilly humming.
"He's about to find out that no fan love is coming!
He'll never be welcomed in this town again!
He'll be kicked out of the club or sent to the bullpen!
His mouth will hang open a minute or two
Then his contract will be voided and he'll cry BOO-HOO!"
"That's a noise," grinned the media,
"That we simply MUST hear!"
So they paused and they put their hands to their ears.
And they did hear something, those lie-making pros.
It started in low. Then it started to grow...
But the fans weren't mad!
Why, they agreed with Z!
It couldn't be so!
But they backed Z, VERILY!
They stared down at Cubsville!
The media popped their eyes!
Then they shook!
What they saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Cubs fan in Cubsville, the tall and the small,
Wasn't stinging...they didn't hate Z at all!
They HADN'T stopped the legend of Zambrano!
He remained a hero and kept winning games!
And the media, as their logic circuits explode,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
Z didn't have Cy Youngs! He was overpaid!
He didn't have strikeouts or pitch complete games!"
And they puzzled three hours, till their puzzlers were sore.
Then the commenters on their webpages gave them what for!
"Maybe Zambrano," they wrote, "is a master of WAR.
Maybe Zambrano...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then...?
Well...in Cubsville they say
That even though the media
Didn't quite go away
That Zambrano's statements were really all right,
That maybe perhaps he can withstand the slights
And so let him keep pitching! He'll rack up more feats!
And Z...Z himself! May still fill up the seats!
Maybe the Fans Can See Right Through the Media Stupidity After All
I know that a lot of casual fans, and fans who actually work for a living and have no time, rely on the media to get their news. This is why the media has a responsibility to get the news right and keep their personal agendas out of it. But they won't. This should also apply to bloggers, I guess, but I've made my position very clear over the past couple years. I am an unabashed supporter of Carlos Zambrano. He is my absolute most favorite Cubs player since Sammy Sosa. He's got a .614 winning percentage, if you care about that stuff. As of yesterday, Z dropped his ERA below 4.00, and if he keeps it up, this will be another full season in his career that he's kept the ERA under 4.00. He's won three Silver Slugger awards, and has actually garnered Cy Young and MVP votes. He may never make the Hall of Fame at this point in his career, but he has amassed a solid amount of wins above replacement with both his bat and his arm. He has more strikeouts than any Cub in history except for Fergie Jenkins. He's been a fixture in this rotation when Wood and Prior went down with injuries and while Dempster is randomly sucking. He provides for his family and for the community, is great with fans, and is a favorite among his teammates.
The articles I listed above were just a few examples of what was written about the incident (which should be a non-incident) yesterday. Based on what I saw, most of the comments within the web-based articles were overwhelmingly in support of what Z said. Yes, the team sucks. He probably shouldn't have called Marmol out (he actually didn't as far as I could tell, just insinuated) but Marmol did throw a hanging slider and Tyler Colvin had been positioned somewhere in Tennessee and decided to airmail a throw that missed the cutoff man and allowed the tying run to score. And unfortunately, it is true that the team is playing like a AAA team because it IS a AAA team since half the roster is from Iowa. But I'm impressed and grateful that the fans realize that the media are a bunch of hacks and that for the time being...no, they don't want to run Z out of town. Because you know what? He's pitched great so far, and he doesn't deserve that kind of hate.
I say, verily, upon the Cubs fans and media, on behalf of Carlos Zambrano: if you don't like Z, you can all lick my balls.