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Carlos Zambrano says the Cubs need some “changes”

Jul 28, 2011, 1:21 PM EDT

Carlos Zambrano AP

Yesterday afternoon there were several reports about the Cubs trying to convince a contending team to take Carlos Zambrano and his contract off their hands, which predictably didn’t go very well.

Then a few hours later Zambrano took the mound against the Brewers and threw 6.2 innings of two-run ball in a tough-luck loss, looking visibly upset as manager Mike Quade removed him from the game and then telling anyone who would listen in the clubhouse afterward that the Cubs need to make “changes.”

Here’s how Carrie Muskat of described the scene:

“I do want to stay here,” Zambrano said. “At the same time, I want this team to make some changes. If we want to win here, we need to make changes. If I have to go, I have to go but I’ll still have the Cubs in m heart. If the change has to be me, that’s OK.”

The Cubs haven’t approached him about any possible trade. “If it comes, it comes and I’ll think about it,” Zambrano said.

What kind of changes would he like to see the team make? “Change. A lot of change,” he said. “A lot of changes to win.”

Does that mean change the players? “Change,” Zambrano said.

Just connecting the dots, it seems pretty obvious that Zambrano is talking about Quade, although he might also be talking about various under-performing players. You know, like Carlos Zambrano.

Zambrano has a career-worst 4.59 ERA in 21 starts while striking out a career-low 6.1 batters per nine innings. He’s still a decent mid-rotation starter, but his arm has been worked a whole lot harder than most 30-year-olds and with one more year and $18 million remaining on his contract he’s obviously being paid like a top-of-the-rotation stud.

Somehow being able to trade Zambrano, either for a decent prospect or just to wipe his contract off the books, would be a very positive “change” for the Cubs. Short of that miracle taking place, however, firing the guy who gave Zambrano the contract might be a worthwhile “change” and it sure seems like Quade’s supporters are rapidly shrinking in number as well.

UPDATE: Our friends at have the video of Zambrano’s “changes” rant.

  1. SmackSaw - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Changes? The Cubs have needed to change for the last 102 years.

  2. southpaw2k - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    All the Cubs need is new front office management, better defensive players, better baserunning skills, better starting pitching, more offense, and a stronger bullpen and they’ll be a fine team.

    • kingbuccaneer - Jul 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      That’s actually a pretty accurate assesment.

  3. isdtyrant - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Maybe it’s time for BigZ to turn and face the strange.

  4. ja4ed - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    2013 is a vesting option for Zambrano. He has to finish in the top 4 in the Cy Young vote either this year or next for it to vest. I think we can assume that he only has one year left on the contract.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    “Change” he might be onto something here…. Repeating “change” over and over again helped Obama win, maybe it can help the Cubs win too?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Apart from angrily policing the unwritten rules, what has Quade done for the Cubs? They are possibly the worst defensive team in baseball, run the bases terribly, near constant questionable bullpen decisions…these are the things a manager generally has some control over, and these are some of the places where the Cubs fail in spectacular fashion. It seems most of the team is somewhere between apathetic and disgruntled, and Quade needs to take some of the blame for that as well.

    Here’s to 2012!

    • SmackSaw - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

      You could that about all the guys on this list

      • ditto65 - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        Yes, you could that.

  7. rickditka - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    it’s a reach to blame quade for this mess. I don’t know if he’s a good manager or not, because the roster is filled with one-dimensional players (calling soriano one-dimensional might be too generous)with little to no baseball sense. Considering the giant checkbook at his disposal, Jim Hendry is the biggest failure in the history of sports GM’s.

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