Let’s recap the latest chapter of the Big Z saga, shall we?
After being swept in St. Louis, his eight quality innings all for naught, Big Z called it like he saw it and the media descened upon him in a fit of sensational journalism like pirhanas on scantily clad swimmers in an early 80s’ movie. Worlds like “blow up”, “hot head”, and “tirade” were thrown around to describe the pitcher and his less than sixty second statement. These people called for suspensions, trades, and banishment. Frenzies were whipped.
Fans rose to the cause, supporting Big Z and his sentiments, pointing out how the whole story was being blown out of proportion just because of who said it. At least a couple of people involved with the media ended up on the same side as the fans.
And the next day…nothing.
Big Z wasn’t run out of town like so many had hoped.
He apologized of his own volition to Marmol for calling him out like he did. He had a nice chat with Quade. And he stood by the core message of his frustrated observation: the Cubs need to play better.
And they do. He was right to call the team embarrassing. They were swept twice in a row. Of those six games, the Cubs should have won four of them. That’s embarrassing.
Should he have called out Marmol? No. That sort of thing is tacky and best kept in house. But, he did the stand-up thing and apologize.
Was it fair to the AAA guys busting their humps to have Big Z say the team played like a AAA team? No. But I understood the point he was trying to make. They’re playing below their capabilities and it’s…well…embarrassing.
I hope the team got his point. Because until they do whatever it takes to turn this Titanic around, it’s going to be little things like this blown way out of proportion by the media that they’re going to have to answer endless questions about and their fans are going to have to defend them on. They media is tired of talking about how much the Cubs suck (funny how they can say it, how they want Tom Ricketts to say it, but Carlos Zambrano saying it is a sin). They’re going to make drama however they can.
My advice to the Cubs is that if you’re going to lose, then you need to do something to make sure the heat stays off of Big Z. I suggest taking turns wigging out. In post-game interviews, in the dugout during the game, in pre-game interviews. Hell, someone in the bullpen lose it in the 3rd inning for no reason.
If you can’t give them something to write about with a win, then make the losing interesting.