The Cubs are calling Carlos Zambrano’s bluff

15 Comments

Courtesy of Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, here is Cubs general manager Jim Hendry’s reaction to Carlos Zambrano’s intention to retire.

“We will respect his wishes and honor them and move forward.”

I can only assume this is an edited version of the original statement that may have read something like, “Thanks for taking us off the hook for the remainder of your contract. Party at my house.”

Of course, this is likely just the beginning of yet another ugly episode. If Zambrano really does walk away, he would be giving up the remainder of his $17.875 million salary for this season and his entire $18 million salary in 2012. That works out to somewhere around $24 million total. You can bet that whoever is in his ear is telling him to get his butt to the ballpark today and apologize for cleaning out his locker and walking out on his teammates. But hey, Big Z has always marched to the beat of his own drum, so he might actually be serious about this whole thing.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.

Report: Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman initiate Marlins’ staff cuts

Getty Images
1 Comment

A report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reveals that prospective Marlins’ owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have already initiated several key firings within the organization. While the sale of the team is still pending final approval next month, Jeter reportedly pushed club president David Samson to remove four special assistants this week: Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine.

Hall of Fame infielder Dawson, outfielder Perez and Marlins’ legend Conine served as special assistants to the president. McKeon, who served as team manager from 2003-2005 (and briefly in 2011), was terminated from a 12-year post as special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.

The move didn’t come as a big surprise to Dawson and McKeon, Jackson and Spencer noted. It’s part and parcel of dealing with new ownership. But it was disappointing news nonetheless, especially as the long-tenured McKeon might lose an opportunity to return next September to manage one game and cement his status as the oldest manager in MLB history.

Should the Marlins’ sale go through in October as expected, this figures to be the beginning of several cuts. Per Jackson and Spencer:

Jeter also is expected to fire some people on the baseball side of the operation, though it’s believed president/baseball operations Michael Hill will be retained, at least indefinitely if not permanently.

Any replacements for those already released from the team have yet to be announced.