Tagged: Larry Rothschild

Taking Another Look

Yesterday I made light of the fact that Carlos Zambrano went nutso at Wrigley.  It was a needed eruption to get his deflated team pumped up again.  Today, I actually saw the whole footage of the outburst on TV by my parents house while picking up my son.  I was at work when this game was played so I didn’t see the whole thing.  What I saw put a sour feeling in my stomach. I’ve changed my tune.  I still think that an eruption by a player or manager can have a positive effect on a team.  However, Zambrano crossed a lot of lines yesterday.  The biggest line crossed was that of the bat to the Gatorade machine.  It’s scary to see how close he came to hitting Larry Rothschild in the chest.  He swung the bat at the machine without any regard to the safety of his teammates on the bench.  I honestly think that the Cubs themselves should suspend Zambrano.  He’s out of control.  He should be suspended by the team and forced to take an anger management class or get counseling.  I actually saw an interview with Big Z on the news where he said with a straight face that he never got into it with an umpire before or had an out burst like that.  What?  No, there’s something wrong.  The Cubs right now seem to be taking the stance people associated with the Red Sox took with Manny Ramirez when they would say, “It’s Manny being Manny”.  However, I don’t recall Manny putting his teammates safety at risk.  Would the Cubs be singing a different tune right now if Rothschild took the bat to the chest, or if the bat’s backswing caught a player on the bench in the head.  Or if a piece of the Gatorade machine hit a player in the head.  Or a fan, for that matter.  Seeing this outburst reminded me somewhat of a scene in the Jimmy Piersall biopic “Fear Strikes Out”.  If I was a Cubs player on the bench, I would have actually have been scared.  We can go back to many out bursts from Zambrano.  From hitting batters to the fight with Michael Barrett, Zambrano has shown time and again he is his own worst enemy.  Can the Cubs really count on him?  Is he really a number one starter?  A stopper?  I don’t know.  He keeps proving that he’s a loose cannon that does more harm than good to the team at times.  Why would the Cubs keep pursuing San Diego’s ace pitcher?  Maybe because deep down they know that they can never know what to expect from Big Z.  If Lou Piniella and the coaches are just going to look the other way, then Jim Hendry needs to step in and demand a level of professionalism.  The Cubs cannot continue to apologize for Big Z’s behavior and look the other way.  The need to get him help.  If not, he’s only going to end up hurting the team.

Right now I probably would have to say the Dodgers are the best team in baseball and they showed it tonight in their 2-1 win over the Cubs.  The Dodgers are a fundamentally sound team.  Their games may not always be pretty, but they get the job done.  The Cubs hope to even the series tomorrow afternoon with Ted Lilly taking the mound.
Lakers/Nuggets
Can someone please convince the Lakers that they lost yesterday’s Game 5?  Phil, you’re the “Zen Master”, could you hypnotize your players and make them believe they lost?  It will be the only way that the Lakers will come out and win Game 6 tomorrow night.  The Lakers only come to play hard when the absolutely must.  Their boredom with the playoffs is maddening.  They have the mentality of “oh, well, we have home court advantage.  We’ll win Game 7”.  In a sense, that may not be a bad thing because they are showing that they can respond to adversity.  But, why does it have to come to that?  Just show up and win tomorrow night.  Use your height advantage against the Nuggets.  There is no reason the Nuggets should be beating the Lakers on the boards.  Yes, I’m calling out Pau Gasol.  The Nuggets should be leading in tattoos, not rebounds.
How big was Lamar Odom last night?  Odom is the key to the Lakers title hopes.  If he consistently plays as he did yesterday, as a force defensively as well as offensively, the Lakers will not lose.

The Powder Keg Explodes!

I said it was going to happen.  I said that it needed to happen.  Someone on the Cubs exploded in rage.  While it wasn’t Lou or Bradley, Big Z provided plenty of fireworks for the faithful this afternoon at Wrigley.

With the Cubs leading 2-1 in the seventh, Big Z threw a wild pitch with Nyjer Morgan on third.  Morgan came home just as Geovany Soto threw the ball back to Zambrano for the tag.  It was a bang-bang play, and the umpire called Morgan safe to tie the game.  Well, Zambrano went nuts. It was good to see a little passion and fight out of the Cubbies, even if it will cost Zambrano a pretty good suspension.  Big Z bumped the umpire, mocked him as he was ejected, threw his mitt, threw a ball out into left field and finally took a bat to the poor gatorade machine in the Cubs dugout.  What do the Cubs got against that machine, anyway?  Only two days before, Dempster went and beat it up.
Here are some pictures from the Chicago Tribune that tell the tale.
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Maybe the Gatorade machine should change it’s name to Dr. Pepper or something.  It needs a doctor after this week.
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Tell him, Big Z!
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Carlos, you might have a future in the WWE!
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You know the players have got to be trying their hardest not to laugh.
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Here’s my favorite!  Lou’s just walking away going, “I’ve taught him well.”  The expression on pitching coach Larry Rothschild is priceless!  Anyone out there care to come up with a funny caption to tell what Larry is saying?
Well, that should loosen up the Cubs.  If they were tight before, they’re for sure loose now.  I’m not advocating childish, unsportsmanlike behavior, but the Cubs need something to get them going.  They can enjoy their current TWO game winning streak!  That’s right, thanks to Reed Johnson’s home run and some insurance in the eighth, the Cubbies won 5-2.  We’re now above .500 once again.  That’s good because we now have the Dodgers coming in to town for a four game weekend series.  Even without Manny, the Dodgers own the major’s best record at 33-15.  Like I said before, it doesn’t get any easier.
Anyone care for some Gatorade?
Photo Credits:
Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune / May 27, 2009
Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune / May 27, 2009
Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune / May 27, 2009
Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press / May 27, 2009
Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune / May 27, 2009

What is it they say about April Showers?

Where to begin?  The Cubs’ weaknesses came to the forefront tonight in an extra inning loss to the Marlins.  Weak, inconsistent offense and a bullpen that may be the worst in the National League right now allow the Marlins to win 8-2 in 10 innings tonight at Wrigley.  The Cubs led this game 2-0 until the seventh thanks to back to back homers by Milton Bradley and Mike Fontenot in the fifth.  The Marlins, as they’ve done all year, chipped away with a run in the seventh and a run in the eighth to tie the score.  Carlos Marmol looked terrible again in allowing the tying run in the eighth.  It remained 2-2 until the top of the tenth when Aaron Heilman came in to pitch.  Heilman came into the game with a 0.82 ERA.  He had been the bright spot in the Cubs bullpen.  No one else in the Cubs bullpen had an ERA under 4.35, so Heilman was definitely a bright spot.  Well, maybe he wanted to fit in with the rest of his bullpen mates and bring that ERA up.  Six runs later, five of them earned, Heilman left with an ERA of 4.91 and a 8-2 Cubs loss.  The Cubs do not have a bullpen right now.  Every game it seems like someone different implodes.  Yesterday, it was Marmol.  Today, it was Heilman.  Who will it be tomorrow?  Larry Rothschild has his work cut out for him.