Saturday, June 26, 2010

¿Que La Paso a Carlos Zambrano?

It feels like deja-vu that I am writing this kind of post about a Cubs player. Back in March I wrote about what has happened to Alfonso Soriano (Click here to see that posting). This season has been a very hectic and disappointing season for Carlos Zambrano which came to a head with his dugout temper tantrum against Derreck Lee and the Chicago Cubs bench. In case you haven't seen the video, click here to see it on Zambrano felt as if Derreck Lee had not properly played a ball that went down the first base line. What Zambrano fails to realize is that after the next player got on base, he was the one who served up the long ball to Carlos Quentin. After his outburst left teammates red in the face and wet from the Gatorade container he tipped over, Zambrano was sent home by manager Lou Piniella and was later suspended indefinitely. The following comments were made Chicago Cubs Genereal Manager Ted Hendry after the game:

"His conduct was not acceptable, his actions toward his teammates and staff were not acceptable. He will not be at the ballpark [Saturday]. We'll play with 24 [players]. From my point of view, we'll play with 24 before we tolerate that kind of behavior."

It is how I like to say about Zambrano's countryman Ozzie Guillen, when you are winning and producing, the tamtrums and comments are allowed. In Zambrano's case, from 2003-2008, he was 91-51 with a 3.39 ERA in 193 games started with 8 complete games and 3 shutouts. In 1266 innings pitched Zambrano gave up 1053 hits, walked 549 and recorded 1075K's for a WHIP of 1.265. But the last two seasons have been different.

Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Zambrano has a 12-13 record with a 4.24 ERA in 37 games started (13 relief appearances this season) with 1 complete game and 1 shutout. In 225 innings pitched Zambrano gave up 224 hits, walked 103 and recorded 205K's for a WHIP of 1.453. His lack of performance got him a demotion to the bullpen for the majority of the first half of this season and now his outburst got him a full demotion from the team and maybe out of Chicago.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella made the following comments regarding Zambrano:

"That's something that can't be tolerated. He came in after he got the third out and he started yelling and screaming. It was embarrassing. ... There's no excuse for this, none at all, no excuse whatsoever.

"I'm embarrassed, he should be embarrassed. He's going to have to apologize to his teammates, that's for darn sure. We've got our share of problems, we don't need those. I sent him home, yes."

How many apologies can Zambrano make to his teammates before they get fully tired of his act. Only time will tell. We'll see how this plays out. All I can say is that Zambrano is a very good pitcher with strong desire and emotion that has let said emotions get the better of him and has derailed his career. Again, only time will tell on how this will end up for Zambrano.


For Further Reading:
- Click here for Paul Sullivan's article on regarding the Zambrano dugout outburst.
- Click here for video footage of Cubs GM Ted Hendry talking about Zambrano's suspension.
- Click here to access Carlos Zambrano's statistics on

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Edwin Rodriguez The 1st Puerto Rican Manager in MLB

With the firing of Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez this morning, his replacement makes history. Edwin Rodriguez becomes the 1st Puerto Rican manager in the Majors after taking over the reins of the Florida Marlins with the dismissal of Fredi Gonzalez after a disappointing (to team owner Jeffrey Loria) 34-36 record. It was believed (again by Jeffrey Loria) that the Marlins were a playoff caliber team. The situation was compounded by a benching of superstar Hanley Ramirez and the ensuing public dispute between Gonzalez and Ramirez. (Photo Credit: Andres Leighton/AP Photo)

Rodriguez, in his eighth season in the Marlins organization, managed their AAA affiliate the New Orleans Zephers for the past season and a half. Rodriguez had spent two years as manager of Single-A Greensboro (2007-08), two as manager of the Gulf Coast League Marlins (2005-06), and two as hitting coach for Double-A Carolina (2003-04). Rodriguez also was part of the Tampa Bay organization, managing Rookie-level Princeton for three seasons (2000-02) and Class A Hudson Valley for one (1999). He played parts of three seasons with the Yankees and Padres from 1982-85. Rodriguez joins Juan Samuel as the 2nd Latino to be hired as a major league manager (Samuel is the interim manager for the Baltimore Orioles).

In terms of the departing Gonzalez, he has the most wins of any manager in Marlins history with an overall record of 276-279. After an overachieving 2008 season where the Marlins finished in 2nd place in the NL East with an 84-77 record, he was named The Sporting News' Manager of the Year.

As much as I hate to see a Latino lose his job, I'm glad to see that another one was chosen to right the ship. Felicidades Edwin, good luck.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jorge Posada Reaches Milestones

During the inter-league series between the Yankees and the Houston Astros this past weekend, Puerto Rican Jorge Posada blasted his 250th and 251st career homeruns of which both were Grand Slams. What is more impressive is that with his 2 Salamis that occurred in consecutive at-bats across two games, is that he becomes the 1st Yankee to do so since fellow Yankees catcher Bill Dickey did so in 1936. I find that especially impressive since I would have garnered a guess that Don Mattingly would have hit consecutive grand slams in that magical season on 1987 when Donnie Baseball slugged 6 grand slams for the season. But that is not all in terms of historical accomplishments for Posada.

Posada is now one of only five catchers to amass 250 home runs, 1,500 hits and 350 doubles over the course of a career. Who are the others four? Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk and Ivan Rodriguez. That puts Posada in elite company since Bench, Carter and Fisk are already enshrined in Cooperstown and the best defensive catcher in the last 15 years (and not much of a slouch at-bat either) Rodriguez will join them five years after he decides to hang up his chest protector and mask.

What separates Posada from his fellow catchers on the list? He is the only one of the five to reach all that plateau while winning four World Series (1998, 1999, 2000, 2009)*** Note, Posada played 8 games for the Yankees in 1996 but was not on the post-season roster. The other four have won four World Series combined (Bench 1975, 1976 with the Cincinnati Reds, Carter 1986 with the New York Mets, Rodriguez 2003 with the Florida Marlins). Kind of makes the case for Jorge Posada to be inducted to the Hall of Fame a bit more convincing. Time will tell if he joins fellow Core Four members Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera in the Hall when they decide to end their illustrious careers.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ubaldo Jimenez Is Chasing History

Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez is steadily chasing history during the 2010 baseball season. Currently he is 12-1 with a 1.16 ERA with 84 strikeouts, 34 walks and a WHIP of 0.98. As it is, Jimenez has been residing in rarefied air with his performance this season. As of his first 11 starts, he joined Hall of Famer Juan Marichal and Eddie Cicotte as the only pitchers to win 10 games in their first 11 starts and to have an ERA under 1.00. Marichal was 10-0 with a 0.80 ERA and Cicotti was 10-0 with a 0.95. Jimenez was 10-1 with a 0.78 ERA. Keep into consideration that Jimenez is pitching his home games in the high altitude of Denver, Colorado.

While Jimenez is visiting the rarefied air of the pitching immortals, he currently is on pace to match the ERA god of the modern era: Bob Gibson. in 1968, Gibson while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals compiled a 22-9 record with a 1.12 ERA in 34 starts and 304.2 innings. Gibson threw 28 complete games and 13 shutouts. He gave up 198 hits, 62 walks and 268 strikeouts.

By comparison, Jimenez has a 12-1 record with a 1.16 ERA in 13 starts and 87.1 innings. Jimenez has thrown 2 complete games and 2 shutouts. He has given up 52 hits, 29 walks and 78 strikeouts. Will he be able to catch Gibson? Time will tell. What I do know is, barring any major injury or collapse by Jimenez, that they National League Cy Young will not be won with just 16 wins as it was with last year. Jimenez has the opportunity to cement himself with other dominant Latino starters such as Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Mike Cuellar and Juan Marichal. We'll keep an eye on it to see how it goes.