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Carlos, Carlos, Carlos...
by Phil Bencomo
When he walked off in the fifth to a rising chorus of boos, Zambrano removed his cap and pointed at his head. Afterward, he explained his gesture.
''I don't accept the fans booing at me,'' he said. ''I thought these fans were the greatest in baseball, but they showed they just care about themselves. That's not right. When you're struggling, you want to feel support. I'll remember that. I know there will be great moments in my career [to] come.''
Everybody makes mistakes; it's a part of being human. For that reason, most mistakes are forgivable, especially if the person who made the mistake has courage enough to admit to his follies.
Carlos Zambrano made a mistake. He disregarded third base coach Mike Quade -- who, preposterously, is being blamed for the incident on a site that shall remain unnamed -- and ran through what was clearly -- to everyone else, anyway -- a stop sign. Zambrano had no chance at the plate, and was tagged out easily.
But Carlos -- who, with every season, gives credence to my fears that he may have some sort of mental illness -- couldn't leave the mistake in the dugout, and threw one of the worst games of his career, during the worst season of his career.
And then to talk down to paying fans who, rightfully, booed him off the field following a terrible all-around performance? You do well, you get cheers. You don't, and you get booed. Cub fans, in general, tend to take a "What have you done for me lately?" attitude with them to the park. Yesterday was a clear example of this mentality, as is Jacque Jones. Further back: Sammy Sosa, beloved for so many years, was just about hurled from the city.
Carlos just signed a monstrous extension, which will be paid for in part by the fans, and this is how he responds?
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A caller on WGN last night made an interesting comment: Perhaps the booing will spark Carlos, what with his me-against-the-world mentality.
An interesting theory. And if that's the case, then perhaps we should just boo him every start...
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Steve Trachsel makes his Cub debut tonight. One can only hope yesterday will not mark the beginning of a September swoon.