Why did you do it, Carlos?

>> Tuesday

Why did you give into your handlers? Or less cynically, your own softer, more forgiving side?

Why did you backpedal on your rightful reaction to those resentful, petulant, ignorant, indulgent bastards who pulled that neanderthal lynch-mob bullshit on you for no justifiable reason yesterday?

Why did you give every trite-ass hack scribe in the country the chance to call you a hypocrite on top of calling you an ingrate and a baby?

Why did you give the "fans" the ok to go on behaving like seven year-olds who didn't get to sit in the front seat?

Why did you do it, Carlos?

I truly believe that you're a great guy, Carlos, so I believe that you made that retraction today, not just for PR, but because you genuinely feel remorseful for the way you reacted. But why did you go so far? Why did you absolve them completely?

Why did you say, "I love the Cubs fans. I think they're the greatest fans in baseball, and you know, they have the right to boo people or to do whatever they have to do, because they've been waiting 98 years (for a championship) and sometimes we don't do a good job and they get frustrated, too."

It doesn't matter how long they've waited, Carlos. They are not in the right to treat anyone--least of all someone who's brought them so much enjoyment--the way they treated you. Remember yesterday when you said, "[The Cubs fans] 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."

Remember that? You were completely right. They only care about your ERA, Carlos. They couldn't care less about you as a person. Fuck; they don't even care about baseball. They care about wearing your success, your abilities, your achievments as their own fucking badge.

Don't let them do that, Carlos.

And then you said this, Carlos: "I know the great moments of my career will come." And you know what? You're right about that too. But you've already been great. These people who blatantly disrespected you, these people who treat you and your teammates like stale gum, these clowns who'll readily boo you if you struggle in your next start then blame you for being lazy and then go into work the next day hungover and slack the fuck off all morning... These are the same people who've watched you be great. And the first moment you're not? They fucking boo you.

Don't give them the satisfaction, Carlos.

And Carlos--I know you just signed that big five-year extension, but I almost wish you hadn't. In a way, I wish those "great moments" would come elsewhere.

Because clearly, none of these people deserve it.


Matt 10:28 PM  

He's welcome in Milwaukee, I'll tell you that. Not that Brewers fans aren't just as irrational, but still, if they haven't booed Suppan off the team yet, Z will be fine.

Zuch 10:55 PM  

I'd pack his bags and personally move all his belongings 12 miles down to the South Side. If the majority of our fanbase still loves Jon Garland despite being a league average pitcher outside of 2005, imagine how we'll treat a legit stud like Big Z.

Vinnie 11:28 PM  

Yeah, but I'm pretty sure those Sox fans booed Albert Belle pretty healthily during that '97 season, and they've been booing hapless middle relivers this year. The mindset changes when the guy's making huge bucks and actually shows a personality.

Also, why did I even acknowledge the "98-year wait." I hate when fans pull that shit. You have not been alive for 98 years. You have barely been alive for forty, most of you. You've suffered no more than Padres fans. If you're in your mid-twenties, you've suffered no more than Royals fans and, in fact, much, much less.

Come off it already.

Nathan 12:23 AM  

I have been waiting for Vinnie to comment on this story, since it's right up his alley. And I'm glad the passion came through so fully.

But I could have just as easily written an obscenity-laced post on this because of my breif experience in sports reporting. Reporters try their damndest to get something more than the cookie-cutter responses out of athletes, and then continually bash them when they even hint at raw honesty. If I were an athlete, I would avoid the press as far as my league would allow me.

Also, Cubs fans are egocentric assholes, for the most part (obviously not the fine Cubs fans that contribute to YCS).

Patrick 8:46 AM  

While I will certainly never boo Carlos, I do think it was however somewhat justifiable (not to the extent that typical asshole Cubs fans show). Zambrano has suddenly turned into that kid from Rookie of the Year when he looses his mojo. Sure, Carlos will probably regain his form in his last couple starts of the season, but I am more worried about Carlos Zambrano the person. He has some serious mental issues that I think need to be addressed by both Carlos and the Cubs. I worry Zambrano emotional temper will hinder what could be a brilliant pitching career, and like any employer, the Cubs have every right to void his contract (and I bet there is something in there related to his psychological health) if Zambrano's antics continue to hurt his performance.

Please don't tell me you didn't boo the great Moses Moreno, or Cade McNown. Lets not forget about Tim Couch in Cleveland or even Barry Bonds as he was approaching Hank. It can't be both ways.

Overall, I want to see the man succeed as he is a wonderfully talented pitcher. But any fan has the right to voice his/her opinion as long as it is in a sensible manner (no profanities, racial slurs, charging the field, etc.)

Overall, fans don't be assholes. If you want you opinion heard, do it in a reasonable manner.

Danny's gentile roommate,  8:58 AM  

Anyone dogging the Cubs fans for booing makes me laugh. For one, the Cub crowd has always been dogged for showing up, partaking in a beer or 12 and having a good ol' time, final result be damned.

The booing implies that people are finally starting to pay attention. The old farts who put the 1969 team that didn't win a damn thing on a pedastal are dying off, and taking their place is a generation that has seen four playoff teams in the last 23 seasons. So, this generation knows it isn't impossible to make it to the promised land. And we're tired of waiting for next year.

This franchise has consistently shit its pants when it was tagged with any expectations of success, and Z reacting in such a way was the perfect example.

I'm sure it was fun playing in front of 90-year-old retirees in town on bus tours from Arizona and Iowa and douchebags hitting on the Lincoln Park skanks in the bleachers waiting for Slammy to blast a meaningless home run in an 8-2 loss.

But fans are pissed now; not over a 98-year drought, necessarily, but over more recent events. Cardinals won it all with 83 regular-season victories. The fucking White Sox won it all, and Boston snapped its streak, too. It CAN be done.

I personally don't boo Cubs at Wrigley for poor play. If there is a perceived lack of effort, I let them have it, though. But I will never call out anyone at Wrigley Field for letting the home team know it is displeased.

Apathy leads to complacency. Last year's booing folk stopped going to games when September rolled around, and the Trib Co. woke up and spent money like it gave a shit. That doesn't happen if fans didn't start showing disgust finally.

Nathan 11:02 AM  

In my humble opinion...

*Not an exhaustive list, but covers the basics*
-Hometown athlete obviously half-assing a play

-Hometown coach/manager makes repeated dumb calls (like, say, Mike Sherman calling a straight run on 3rd and 7)

-Ump/ref makes an obviously horrible call (think Ohio St. vs Miami)

-When you're booing an opposing player for taunting, fighting, taking a cheap shot, etc. (You can boo opposing teams/players for just about any reason except for one: see below)

-Hometown athlete or team performs poorly (like the Zambrano situation)

-When the opposing team does something that's a completely normal part of the game, like pitch outs, checks on the runners, mound visits, etc. (One of my absolute pet peeves)

Matt 7:07 PM  

Whom else Nate actually finds it ok to boo:

The black players.

Vinnie 10:03 PM  

Booing in baseball is simply idiotic. Of all sports, it's the one least dictated by conscious effort becaues it's so minutely reactive in almost all its elements. No one, least of all Carlos, is trying to fail.

Whereas in basketball, when booing may simply serve as a reflection of the collective frustrations of the players and their own conscious effort--say, during an 18-2 run or something--booing in baseball simply says, "I don't like the results your abilities are producing, so suck on this."

It's fruitless and almost always preys on an individual--an individual whose best efforts to succeed are failing, merely the fault of his natural limitations, his opponents' abilities, or unfortunate circumstance. It's not an effort thing.

And by the way, Carlos has ALWAYS been a streaky pitcher. It's retarded for people to attribute this rough stretch to getting fat off his contract.

Vinnie 10:15 PM  

And also, the notion that you SHOUlD be angry about your home team losing--as if their win total is the only thing your baseball-watching experience can offer--is so infantile it's sickening.

Do you actually love baseball? If so, you'd be disappointed about your home team's loss, but you'd still be thrilled to be A) watching baseball, B) watching it live at the park, and C) watching a team in a division race.

If the only reason watch is to see your team win so you can wear it around and eat it, then you might as well put on your Cubs hat, go to the bar, track the score on your phone, and quit bastardizing the game I love.

Anonymous,  11:48 AM  

I wish I lived in the world Vinnie lives in. According to him, no athlete deserves criticism if he happens to be wearing the jersey of your favorite franchise, especially when you plop down half a week's paycheck to watch him. And being a fan consists of hoping for a victory and not batting an eyelash after a loss.

Vinnie, you know as much as I do that the boobirds weren't reacting just to Monday's game. Z was on cruise control for the entire month of August. At first, he blamed his contract negotiations as a distraction. Then he got his money and continued to shit his pants every start.

Fine, chalk that up to streakiness. But you also say "It's not an effort thing." Not backing up the plate and pouting on the mound instead is a total lack of effort. Not looking up at your third-base coach was a lack of effort.

Z has been getting a pass for a lot of his bullshit for some time now, and he has yet to prove anything in big-game situations. This isn't Philly, where they boo on the first opportunity. The body of work was shown no love on Monday.

And your entire philosophy on baseball as an enjoyable game to watch? Totally agree with you. If I didn't, I wouldn't catch games at other parks just to tally up the "stadiums visited" list, nor would I bother to keep score at a Rockies-Pirates game while on vacation. But when it comes to your favorite team, why the hell would you be satisfied with just coming in to watch, results be damned? Why bother playing? Why bother caring? That "let's go see a game" talk is exactly how Cub fans received that awful perception of not giving a shit. Short of not showing up, booing is how fans let front offices know they aren't happy with the product they are paying for.

So, excuse me if I am "bastardizing" a sport because I have this crazy feeling deep down that I want my favorite team to win games and not look like garbage. If you had your way, Neifi and Macias would still be the double play combo, as long as the sun shined bright at 1:20 every afternoon at the Friendly Confines.

Go to an art gallery. Plenty of aesthetic beauty to be had, and folks just walk by the stuff that doesn't appease them...and little to no booing!

danny's gentile roommate,  11:50 AM  

Doh. That "anonymous" was me, Danny's Gentile Roommate. I panicked when the boss walked by.

Vinnie 1:59 PM  

Problem is, Carlos's "bullshit" may go hand-in-hand with what makes him awesome. As often as it seems like he starts pitching poorly when he gets all pissed off and acts ridiculous, it seems there are plenty of times when he feeds off that. From the outside, there's only so much anyone can do to correct that. If Carlos finds that he's curbing his abilities with his antics, he'll have to learn that in time on his own. It's rarely good policy to alienate an exceptional talent because of his abrasive or volatile personality.

In sports, especially in baseball, failure speaks for itself, both in plain view and on paper. No player needs that additional commentary from the fans to know that he's failing. If someone were standing over your shoulder going, "You suck" or "You're a retard" or "You're horrible at everything" everytime you knowingly failed at something, wouldn't that start to wear on you? Wouldn't you consider that somewhat abusive? Wouldn't you retaliate? Well, I guess when you're an athlete, you're not allowed.

A lot of people would say, "Pitch better. Then they'll stop booing. There's your retaliation." But that doesn't undo the shitty way you were treated when you failed. And no matter how hard Z works, he doesn't know when, if ever, that vindication will come. His only recourse was to speak his mind. He did that. And I will never say he was wrong for it.

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