Carlos Zambrano is not the Cubs' biggest problem

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Sticking with the Cubs, the Tribune’s Phil Rogers has a suggestion:

Get Carlos Zambrano out of here, even if the Cubs have to give him
away. He’s not the guy you want as the ace of a curse-busting team, and
at this point, it’s wishful thinking that he’ll ever mature into that
guy.

Proving that I did not attend Kellogg, Wharton or even the Acme
School of Business, I offer this proposition for Jim Hendry: First
thing Monday morning, put Zambrano on waivers. If anyone claims him and
the $62.75 million left on his contract, which runs through 2012,
immediately trade him for whatever is being offered, from a bag of
balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer.

I didn’t say a good suggestion.

Setting aside the fact that there are no revocable waivers right now,
which means that if someone claims Zambrano he’s gone, this is a loopy
idea borne more of a columnist with writer’s block than anything
approaching good baseball sense. Zambrano is no man’s idea of a calming
influence, but he’s pitching more or less the same way he always does.
A little better by some measures, actually, and he is certainly not the
reason why the Cubs are in the trouble they are right now.

It’s one thing to complain that he gets too much money for what he
produces — and he probably is a bit overpaid, actually — but
suggesting you get rid of the guy? Please.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.

Wanna feel old? Dusty Baker’s son Darren is graduating from high school

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Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.

Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.

Time flies, man.