Steve Rosenbloom’s streak of semi-reasonable articles came to a screeching halt yesterday (we’re all regression fans here, so we saw this coming) with his “thrashing” of the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano and his decision to go adopt a child during the All-Star break. Cue Rosenbloom:
Latest cases in point began when Zambrano went on the disabled list with a bad back that forced him out of a game. He had experienced back trouble before, such as when he was trying to win the batting-practice home run title, one of the many idiot things Zambrano has done while apparently been enabled by the apparently neutered Cubs.
Rosenbloom starts by relating two injuries that may or may not be related. And maybe Zambrano was swinging too hard in batting practice, but is it that shameful that an NL pitcher who’s an okay hitter is getting his hacks in? The blame is all hindsight – no one chastised David Price for hitting BP home runs and then cartwheeling around the bases. Injuries happen, and sometimes they happen at unfortunate times. Blaming it on Zambrano’s “idiocy” is a non-sequitur.
Anyway, Zambrano got hurt and then threw out the first pitch at a softball game. It’s not that his back was in much jeopardy, but it was the appearance of idiocy.
I’ll give “Rosey” some credit here, as he at least notes that throwing out the first pitch for a softball game is not going to hurt Zambrano (credit that cannot be given to many Cubs fans who thought Zambrano should have gone home without dinner following the injury). Still, by invoking the “appearance of idiocy”, Rosenbloom is enabling the idiots who do think the first pitch was a big deal.
(And that’s just one of the problems with Chicago’s baseball writers. When they aren’t overtly trying to run players out of town *cough Sullivan cough*, they are too busy enabling braindead fans. I know this happens everywhere, and I’m sure the Cubs aren’t necessarily exceptional on this front. I like that Rosenbloom will be adverserial with this team, but he panders to every mouth-breather’s gripes and qualms that renders his overall product unreadable.)
Zambrano threw a bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Wednesday while the Cubs were looking stupid in a third straight one-run loss in Washington on a suicide squeeze that just pantsed everybody from the manager on down. More of that later. For now, the story is that Zambrano threw a bullpen at Wrigley instead of in Washington because the Cubs didn’t want the big goof to further hurt or strain his back sitting on an airplane. This spasm of lucidity could impact the Cubs’ chances reaching first place in the Frickin’ Idiot League.
Okay let’s work on the timeline here. Zambrano gets hurt Thursday, June 30th. The Cubs fly out to Washington Sunday, July 3rd. Zambrano throws a bullpen session in Chicago on Wednesday, July 6th. You with me so far? If you’re not Steve Rosenbloom, you probably are, so let’s go on…
Now get a load of this: Zambrano plans to fly to Guatemala over the All-Star break to prepare for the adoption of his son. Can you say “utter disrespect,’’ boys and girls?
First off, Richie Whitt says hi. Secondly, Zambrano is flying out at least a week after he didn’t fly to Washington, and more than a week and a half after he got hurt. And nevermind the fact that he’s obviously fine enough to make a rehab start at Class A Peoria today. (To the OV guys, I will not eat dinner since I just linked to Al). He’s also not missing a start, or otherwise affecting the team in any other way. In fact, the All-Star Break is the perfect time for something like this.
But let’s not lose sight of what’s important. Carlos Zambrano, wealthy athlete, is using that wealth to help enrich a little boy who likely would have dealt with a life of hardship. He’s taking him in as his own son. To me, this is an exemplar of valor. This is what I’d love to see more people do. He’s positively affecting the life of a kid for whom no one else would have cared. I mean seriously, this deserves the Orson Wells applaud.gif. But Rosenbloom finds this as an “utter disrespect”?
I love baseball more than I love most things (probably to my detriment), but I never lose sight that it’s just a silly stickball game that provides both leisure and escapism for me. I can forget my worries with a ballgame and an IPA or I can intellectually masturbate to my spreadsheets. I love this fucking game. But never, ever is it more important than family, friends, or making positive contributions to society. Baseball allows us to simulate the emotions of real life, but it does not replace them. I really can’t put it better than Craig Calcaterra did yesterday:
Some folks get criticized for missing the game as a result of having their heads buried in spreadsheets. Better that than to miss the important things in life as a result of having your head buried in a game.
At this point, there’s no real reason to continue with the article. Rosenbloom kvetches about Kerry Wood and blisters and the Cubs enabling Zambrano…all standard drivel from our resident fuckopath. I can stand the daily hackery of lambasting pitchers for not getting wins or hitters being clutch; that’s all just confined to the sport and the discourse therein.
But when people start running hatchet jobs on a person for doing one of the more commendable things imaginable, well, I just can’t take it. There is idiocy out there, and it must be fought without pity or hesitation.