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Big Z Say Sorry Yet Local Media Cries Foul!!!

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

As a member of the Chicago media, I am slightly embarrassed today.  The reason is because as much as we (the local media) have fun with the collective "east coast bias" of ESPN, as soon as we (the local media) are beat to a story in town....we feel insulted by the individuals participating. 

For those that do not know, like any other business most of the members of the local media in town are extremely envious when an athlete in town prefers the national sit down interview rather than being in a gangbang of local scribes.   
Personally and professionally I really do not care about what outlet an athlete uses to either break some news or in this case.....apologize.

It's amazing to me how the local scribes and talk show outlets have reacted to Carlos Zambrano's apology/explanation with ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez.   A simple five to seven minute conversation which looked like it was conducted in a Motel 6 has never sparked so much local controversy.  Can Carlos Zambrano ever do anything without criticism?  Here's just a sample:
"There was a man who looked a lot like Zambrano, and who looked like he was in actual pain, speaking to ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez on Monday.  What about the teamwide apology?" - Phil Rogers (Chicago Tribune)
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"The still-rehabbing Zambrano apologized in an interview with ESPN. Stupid, but true. Just urinated all over his supposed new-found respect for being part of a team and the teammates who dress beside him.  Seems Zambrano's neurotransmitters don't work much better than his fastball." - Steve Rosenbloom (Chicago Tribune)
"The situation is an indication that little has changed on Planet Z. It still is all about him. With so much fence-mending on his to-do list, how he thought an interview with ESPN was a good idea is mind-boggling" - Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun Times)
"So, if you haven't heard it yet, Zambrano did the sports equivalent of a mea culpa yesterday, of course instead of the Washington press corp he gets Pedro Gomez" - A League Of Her Own Blog (
Why are we so critical of an apology/explanation that I believe he did not have to make in the first place?
Remember back to that moment at US Cellular Field where Zambrano gave up the four run first inning, what was your initial thought we you saw Big Z explode?  Was it:
A. "What the hell is he doing down there?"
B. "About time someone started caring about the way this team is playing."
C. "I hope he kicks DP-Lee's ass!"
When I saw Zambrano marching down the dugout yelling and screaming till his lungs were sore, it was the first sign of emotion from anyone on that 25 man roster (coaches included) the entire season.  My sentiments were shared with Cubs analyst Bob Brenly who immediately called the Cubs a "Dead Ass Team" on spot.....and you know what....Brenly was right! 

For all the talk we hear on a yearly basis about guys who do not show enough emotion, why harp on the one single guy on the Cubs who shows it?  Is it just because he gave up four runs in the opening frame of a ballgame, or is it just Cubs fans being frustrated with a contract and an under performing player.   
I understand that the Cubs have not won in over a century, if you forgot.  To condemn a certain player (who makes a lot of money) who shows as much emotion as Zambrano does on and off the field is simply misconstrued. 

When Big Z pumps the fist after a big strikeout late in the game, you cheer.  When Big Z takes off his cap and points to the sky after a 1-2-3 inning, you cheer.  So why when Big Z tries to do what a leader of men should do, you nitpick every little thing he does and you are disgusted with him.
Zambrano said it himself:
"It was a moment of frustration," Zambrano said. "I was trying to fire up the team. Lee told me to shut up, and I got more excited."
How can you deny something that all Chicago fans demand from their athletes?
So for the Chicago sports media to mock Zambrano's apology/explanation as selfish and arrogant because he decided to sit down with Pedro Gomez of ESPN is just the local kids being jealous.  We got scooped by the big bad four letter network once again and we cannot handle it. 

The point is he said what he said no matter where he said it, and like it or not he will eventually have to face the local media at some point sometime soon.  Just because Zambrano said yes to Pedro Gomez of ESPN doesn't mean he is a bad guy, because this apology/explanation was going to happen one way or another. 

Who cares where it happens or who it happens with?
Local athletes are not bound and tied to talk to local outlets first, I hope we can get a memo out to the local outlets to inform them.
Rock Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and co-host of The Joe O And Rock Show on WSCR 670AM The Score
You can follow The Mully And Hanley Morning Show at
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iowagyrl said:

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Amen Rock! And I want to clarify that Big Z did NOT duck reporters when he was in Des Moines last week. There was some kind of "gag order" that was in place not only for Carlos but for the entire I-Cubs organization, including the players. I was at the game with my grandson and we watched as Big Z was "paraded out" and escorted down to the dug-out for a contrived "photo-op" before the game. I also heard him practically beg the I-Cubs owners(who flanked him the entire time)to allow him to sign some autographs, which they reluctantly allowed him to do.

The pitiful news media who came from Chicago to cover Big Z, threw a collective "hissy fit" when they were kicked out of the I-Cubs clubhouse following the game last Thursday night. They were lied to, by the I-Cubs management, about Big Z "leaving the building" like they were lied to, about why the I-Cubs unceremoniously cancelled Big Z's press conference in Des Moines on Wednesday.

Isn't it about time we found out the truth about what went on that afternoon in June in the Cubs dug-out? We now know that he was in fact trying to "fire up the team" who was down 6 runs and Derek Lee told him to "shut-up?" I'm not excusing the ensuing tirade but while the panty-waists are at it, how about they print the facts instead of exactly what the Cubs ownership tells them to?

What a bunch of pansies!! They're not man enough to carry Big Z's lunch in my humble opinion. Thank you for writing the truth Rock!

Rock Mamola said:


Thanx for checking out the blog iowagyrl!


iowagyrl said:

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Congratulations on your blog hitting the front page of!

MarkPloch said:

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You are barely a member of "the local media".

Nobraino should have settled up with his team first and foremost. Obviously he cares little about his team.

Rock Mamola said:


barely a member? how is that possible? Am a member, yes!

He cares little about his team?? Why was he the only one showing any emotion about how things were going with the Cubs?

I doubt that a guy who doesn't give a shit would do something like he did.

Thanks for reading

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