We awoke, the sun did shine but it did seem to glow somewhat redder
The Yahoo! roto writer termed the Zambrano move as "weapons-grade stupid" and then Yahoo! Big League Stew correctly surmised that whether Sweet Lou Piniella meant to open up the Second Seal or not, he has, and now we Cub fans will now know what kind of owners the Ricketts are.
But first, let's first give you all credit for some excellent discussion about this point. If taken strictly as a "most recent performance" move, if there were no names (or salaries) attached to the move, it was the best move to make. That is how I felt as I went to bed last night. This morning, though, I have further considered the Zambrano issue.
Let's not assume that Lou's motivation behind the move was to hang Jim Hendry's wire out to dry. It might have played a part, but Lou Piniella's issues are not the scope of this essay. It can be argued that this move is consistent with his frequently repeated mantra that the best nine players at any given time will play. But he has completely discounted two things.
The first is, of course, that Zambrano's history is far superior to either Silva the Hutt's or Gorzelanny's. If left alone, it would not be hard to imagine Zambrano having an ERA under 4 at the All-Star break. There is NO way, in fact I would bet 50 bucks that Gorzelanny's ERA will exceed 4 at the break. And while Silva looks good now, if this is all an elaborate con job he is currently pulling, it wouldn't be the first.
The second shouldn't be Piniella's problem, but unfortunately it is. These are not just lines in a stats book. These are walking, breathing Corporations that he manages every day. Sending Z to the pen may very well eff-up his arm, as it would for any starter you send there. Conditioning yourself to throw every fifth day, then being forced to throw maybe three days in a row can cause damage.
You are risking damaging a $72 million dollar investment when you send Z to the pen. You are risking damaging a $28 million dollar investment if you send Silva there. Much less than $72 milldo. As for Gorzellanny, you are risking a half a million. Might Z be a better reliever than Silva or Gorzo? Yeah, maybe. But Lou is playing with House money. Ricketts money.
Lou is telling his owners that he doesn't give a monkey's ass about the mega-investment that they, themselves, are forced to cover. I will risk flushing over 70 million of YOUR dollars to either a) send a psychological message to my team, b) cover up a gap that your crappy GM left in our roster, or c) remind you that I'm 67 years old, and I should be eating pudding with my grandkids on some pier in Clearwater.
All the Ricketts have done on record thus far is: raise ticket prices once again; make the players lounge somewhat less cramped than the last one was; try to install a gaudy sign in left field; install pricier concession stands; and fantasize about a triangular restaurant/museum/parking deck/hotel/day spa to be built on top of the carwash next to the park. We accused the Tribune of only being concerned about their precious profits - all we've heard about so far from the new owners is revenues, revenues, revenues!
What about your gatdam ballteam? Your manager is playing hide-and-seek with your $72 million dollar pitcher, and not a public word from any of you?
Tom Ricketts - you're the point guy, so quit high-fiving mopes and start making some honest-to-God baseball decisions.