It's doubtful that Carlos Zambrano will receive the Mr. Cub Award this year.
The ace of Chicago's staff has been struggling, and the Wrigley Field faithful was giving him the business yesterday as Zambrano and the Cubs were shelled, 11-3, by the Dodgers. Instead of simply keeping his head down and his mouth shut, Zambrano did just the opposite. He took a few shots at the Cubbie fans. It wasn't a full Lee Elia rant ("85 percent of the ... world's working, the other 15 come out here"). And, in fact, I thought Zambrano made some good points about fans sticking with good players when they hit a rough patch. But to say that out loud isn't going to do him any good on the north side.
For the record, as Zambrano -- who has lost his last five starts -- left the mound and the boos rained down, he pointed to his head to send the message, "I hear you."
Later, he went further. "You know, I thought these were the greatest fans in baseball. But they showed me today that they just care about them, and that's not fair, because when you're struggling, you want to feel the support of the fans."
Zambrano, who is 14-12 and arguably a major reason why the Cubs are leading the mediocre NL Central, makes a good point in that many fans are of that what-have-you-done-lately mentality. On the other hand, they pay a lot of money, filling that old ballpark, and Zambrano pockets a lot of that cash -- he signed a $91.5 million contract last month.
Photo credit: José M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune