Our friend Nick Collias of MLBTR has been reading the Venezuelan newspapers and he passes along word from Joiner Martinez at Líder en Deportes that Carlos Zambrano is either (a) getting into the best shape of his life; or (b) getting ready to fight Ivan Drago in Moscow on Christmas Day:
“I’m preparing like when I was a rookie, climbing mountains, running on the beach, and exercising hard so that I can arrive at Spring Training in optimal shape. I want to stay in Chicago for the two seasons I still have with the team. I’m not a coward who would take the back door out of the majors.”
Back door out of the clubhouse in the middle of a game in which he pitched poorly, however, is another story.
In other news, apparently Zambrano participated in the Venezuelan home run derby, called the “Festival de Home Run Pepsi.” Which is great. Zambrano hit one homer and didn’t advance. The winner was Luis Jimenez, a 10-year minor leaguer currently in the Mariners system. He beat out guys like Pablo Sandoval Bobby Abreu, Andruw Jones and Miguel Montero.
I hope Zambrano sticks with the Cubs or latches on someplace. I’m gonna be bored if I can’t write about him next season.
This summer’s series between the Yankees and Red Sox in London is, technically, a home series for the Red Sox, with the Yankees serving as the visitors. Pete Abraham reports that Major League Baseball is dispensing with the usual sartorial formalities, however, and will have both teams wearing their home livery: the Red Sox will wear white and the Yankees will wear pinstripes.
It’s marketing more than anything, as you can’t really put your league’s marquee franchise on an international stage and not have it wearing its iconic duds, right?
It’s also pretty harmless if you ask me. Baseball is not like football or basketball in which you have to have contrasting uniforms in order to keep one side from accidentally throwing the ball to the opposition or what have you. And with so many teams wearing solid color alternates now — sometimes both the home and road team are in blue or red jerseys in the same game — it’s not like there hasn’t already been a breakdown in home white/road gray orthodoxy. I prefer the classics, but I lost that battle a long time ago.
So: I say let a thousand colors fly. Heck, let the Yankees wear their pinstripes on the road all the time. Who’ll stop ’em?