But before we get to today’s series, let’s get to the big news. What is wrong with Z?
CHICAGO — Carlos Zambrano had to leave Thursday’s game in the second inning with lower back soreness that he was feeling before the game and that he’s been experiencing throughout the season.
Zambrano was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be evaluated, and Cubs manager Mike Quade said he didn’t know if Zambrano will have to miss time.
“This has been an ongoing thing from time to time with him,” Quade said.
Zambrano wasn’t feeling right when he arrived at the ballpark.
“He got here this morning, [and] I think he was a little cranky when he talked to us,” Quade said. “They worked on him extensively hoping he could loosen it up and give us what he could and hoping they wouldn’t bunt on him because that was going to give him trouble bending over too much. And he threw quite a few balls up. He just didn’t have the freedom and flexibility that he normally does.”
This basically tells us nothing. Let’s just hope Z is back up and ready to go sooner rather than later.
In somewhat amusing news, it looks like Tom Ricketts has been reading the newspapers lately, because he finally admitted that things are not all gumdrops and lollipops in Wrigleyville:
Tom Ricketts acknowledged his disappointment in theÂ Cubs‘ performance in the first half of this season, but the team’s chairman did not want to divulge any specific plans for the team as the trade deadline looms.
“Obviously we are not happy with the way the season has gone so far. We just haven’t won enough games. We haven’t played good baseball. And that’s tough,” Ricketts told the Tribune after addressing a group of students at the Inter-American Magnet School in Chicago Thursday morning.
Hey–that’s something! Acknowledgement that more than just injuries has doomed this team. What else did he have to say?
Asked specifically if the Cubs plan to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, Ricketts said, “I’m not going to address that one. That’s Jim (Hendry) and that’s a few weeks away.”
The Cubs entered Thursday’s game against the Giants with a 33-48 record in fifth place in theÂ NL Central. Asked what his expectations are for the Cubs the rest of this season, Ricketts said:
“We’re just now starting to get healthy. Let’s get everybody on the field and see how good we are. That’s all I am looking for at the time being.”
Tom, you had me. I was with you. And then you lost me. Because here’s the thing: improving this team for the future and Jim Hendry are diametrically opposed forces. Hendry wants to win now to save his job. He’s not going to make the moves necessary to improve this team at its heart going forward. For crying out loud, his minions are even talking about being BUYERS at the trade deadline. You cannot leave this in the hands of Jim Hendry! Â More importantly, you can’t leave Crane Kenny in charge of Jim Hendry! Please! I beg of you! I BEG OF YOU. . . . Â .
Hey, before the game starts today, head down to this post and tell us your all-time favorite Cubs moment. Â The winner will get a $50 gas card from the good people at BP. I’ll pick the winner at 1:20 pm today, and then we’ll start another giveaway. Also, keep your eyes open for trivia questions in today’s game thread, because we’ll be giving away more prizes throughout this weekend’s BP Crosstown Cup series.
Don’t miss Wrigley Talk Friday today–we’ll have plenty to talk about on the Ricketts front. Obviously. We’re up today at 1:30 pm CT. Â (347) 989-8945 to call in.
Finally, it’s Friday, which means we want to hear your iPod 5. Â Hit shuffle and give us the first five songs that show up. No cheatsies, no judgment.
First pitch today is at 1:20 pm CT. Y’all come back now, ya hear?