Columnist bashes Carlos Zambrano for flying to Guatemala to adopt a baby boy

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One could reasonably criticize the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano for various things he’s done while suffering from a bad back. Gotta be careful and everything, because his health is important.

One could also unreasonably criticize the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano for the way he handles himself while he’s recovering from his injuries.  This bit, from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, looks pretty damn unreasonable to me:

Now get a load of this: Zambrano plans to fly to Guatemala over the All-Star break to prepare for the adoption of his son. Can you say “utter disrespect,’’ boys and girls?

He calls Zambrano a “dope” for doing this and the Cubs “dopes” for allowing it.

Yeah, I mean, where does he get off? How dare you claim you can’t fly with the team to Washington for an early-July series against the Nationals in which you would not have participated while doing silly stuff like going to Guatemala to adopt a baby boy?!  Those things are totally equivalent in terms of importance! How disrespectful of you, dumb dumb Carlos Zambrano for doing it and dumb dumb Cubs for allowing it!

Some folks get criticized for missing the game as a result of having their heads buried in spreadsheets. Better that than to miss the important things in life as a result of having your head buried in a game.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: