Lazy is the four-letter word of 2009
In 2008, all we heard was that Contract Year Ryan Dempster was running up and down mountains to get himself in shape for the starting rotation, and that Geovany Soto credited his outstanding 2007 campaign to weight loss. It was a Hungry Team, embarrassed by their early exit from the NLDS. Then we went out and won 97 games. Dempster got a huge contract, and Soto won Rookie of the Year.
So what has happened so far this year? This isn't the same Hungry team. Kosuke Fukudome was told to 'work on his core' over the off-season. During a hot month of April, he admitted that he didn't do what he was told. He then sucked hot toast during May and June. Soto came back visibly slower and bigger, and everyone pointed to the World Baseball Classic, which lasted three weeks, not possibly long enough for Soto to put the weight on that he had. Then, later, it turns out he was smoking weed at some point last winter. Then he missed over a month due to pulled abdominal muscles, not an injury that happens to athletes in peak condition. Now, the latest admission of the "L" word came out today.
Carlos Zambrano, he of the back spasms, wasn't speaking. Ooooh, what deep dark secrets must HE be harboring? Well, kids, turns out he too is Lazy. His back is out because he isn't doing his core work, the same core work that has in one way or another bit Mr. Soto and Mr. Fukudome this year. Cub Fan Nation hasn't taken too kindly to Z's admission of guilt, and honestly, I'm not dealing too well with it, either, coming from a man making over $18 million American this season.
First it was the tantrums, then the excess computer usage, then the hydration, now the gut. I mean, I guess in "real life" terms, he seems to be learning lessons, and reacting constructively.
Problem is, THIS is the guy who is the leader of the pitching staff, our "ace", and the man who everyone else takes their cues from. Wouldn't it be great if our so-called "ace" was DOING his exercises, without being told, instead of after the fact, like a kid?
This, people, is what happens when players get satisfied with themselves. There's no Hunger with the 2009 Cubs. There's no fire. I don't see anyone showing a real distaste to losing. Oh sure, Don't Wake Daddy has blown up a few times, but notice not once has he ever mentioned Winning or Losing? He's touched upon several other topics, but W's and L's aren't what's burning his wick.
In a world where bullshit reigns supreme (yep, Big Papi, I'm talking to you), I guess I applaud Z for coming out and falling on his sword with his flabby gut. As a person, I appreciate it. As a fan, though, it makes me kind of sick.