Aww, he wore the only collared shirt he owns...

As Theo Epstein Week continues, two things have occurred:

  1. I feel absolutely terrible for Jed Hoyer. He’s a damn good general manager. Has anyone seen HIM at Starbucks? Has anyone stalked HIM and said creepy things about how they’ve been waiting for him for 103 years? Has anyone introduced HIM to Ronnie Woo-Woo?
  2. Steve Rosenbloom has declared the Epstein honeymoon OVER, bitches! I hope you enjoyed that day of glory, Cubs fans! Rosey doesn’t take kindly to guys who wear hoity-toity shirts with COLLARS!

Reader Jim pointed me to Rosenbloom’s latest masterful stroke. It’s amazing, as evidenced below. It makes you think, if Shakespeare’s brilliance may have actually the work of several playwrights, HOW MANY GENIUSES ARE BEHIND THE WORKS OF STEVE ROSENBLOOM??? Oh, incidentally, when I arrived at the article, it was rated a perfect five stars. I rated it one, as I do with all Rosenbloom articles, and it dropped to three stars. I was the second voter. What are the odds that Rosey was the first voter and gave himself a perfect score?

Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ new Baseball Moses, sounds prepared, detailed, complete and sincere…

“He’s ready to part the Reds, see? YOU SEE HOW CLEVER MY ANALOGIES ARE???”

He came down from the mountain with the following Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt not have other gods beside me.
  2. Thou shalt not take Elia’s name in vane.
  3. Thou shalt not (get thrown out) steal(ing).
  4. Honor thy coach, even if he is a terrifying abomination to humanity.
  5. Thou shalt not drink beer and eat fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.
  6. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s 2005 World Series title.
  7. Thou shalt keep holy day baseball.
  8. Thou shalt not take the name of Harry Caray in vane, for I shall smite the Seventh-Inning Stretch if thou do.
  9. Thou shalt not give unproven rookies full no-trade clauses, for such actions are so stupid.
  10. Tits in the bleachers or GTFO.

…and yet, when he talks about getting more out of Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano, it sounds like a crock, a bluff to increase trade value.

We have a long-standing Cubs tradition of DECREASING trade value to the point of zero before we trade our players (see Patterson, Corey; Farnsworth, Kyle; Sosa, Sammy; Bradley, Milton; et. al.). WHO DOES THIS EPSTEIN GUY THINK HE IS???

Then again, being prepared, detailed, complete and sincere creates bluffing opportunities.

Which is why you have never ONCE been outbluffed by a Steve Rosenbloom article. Also, Steve, we get it. You like poker. It might be the only thing in this world that you understand. Now please get your stupid poker analogies out of my baseball section.

In breaking down every asset to extract unrealized value, Epstein will find a chasm between the two underperforming stocks.

In breaking down this sentence, I found a chasm between “sense” and “this makes none.”

At least I hope he will.

Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

Soriano will be 36 next season. He is coming off one of the worst slash lines of his career.

FUN FACT: Steve Rosenbloom thinks “slash line” is what you do with a razor blade, a mirror, and some cocaine.

He has three more deteriorating and guaranteed seasons remaining on that $136 million joke courtesy of Jim Hendry.

JIM HENDRY: LOL! /swallows keyboard

Soriano can still hit 20 homers and has shown some defensive improvement, but still, he’s the poster child for the Cubs tradition of paying for past production, not future performance, something Epstein implied he would change.

Give a hoot...

Soriano, though, is considered a stand-up guy. He is regarded as a good teammate. Maybe not another $54 million worth of good teammate, but it’s something.

What that something is, is hard to define. No, wait. Wrong writer.

Zambrano, meanwhile, is an extreme home makeover.

You DO know there’s a makeover show for humans that’s just called Extreme Makeover, right? It’s about nine years old. In fact, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition debuted as a spinoff show a year later. There was also an Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition, and there’s going to be an upcoming Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Sadly, there is no Extreme Makeover: Sports Columnist Edition planned.

He’s not worth the money and not a good teammate.

Holy shit, he went caveman halfway through that sentence! Carlos Zambrano is not a good teammate, nor is HE SMASH GOOD GATORADE BIG PITCH NO MORE!

He doesn’t fight for teammates, he fights with them.

Slick turn of the phrase, Rosie. I did NOT see that coming.

When he’s not quitting on them or calling them out, that is.

Hey, there’s only 24 hours in a day.

The Cubs had the worst ERA among starters in the National League, and Zambrano’s was among the worst of the worst.

Carlos Zambrano’s 2011 ERA: 4.82
Ryan Dempster’s 2011 ERA: 4.80

In fact, the only other semi-regular Cubs starters who had ERAs lower than Zambrano were Matt Garza and…Rodrigo Lopez? Seriously? Holy shit.

He acts out on the mound when teammates fail him instead of calmly taking the ball and pitching over it. That’s some gall to stomp around and show up teammates after the way he stunk.

Me, I personally like the quiet composure that Ryan Dempster shows on the mound when he’s walking everyone in the ballpark and serving up 23 home runs. He does everything with the sense of poise and dignity that a true “ace” carries.

For those keeping score at home, that’s a miserable teammate in the clubhouse and on the field. Any way you look at it, there is no “Zambrano’’ in “team.’’

Zombie Ron Santo just had to check my scorecard.

And there is no room or need for Zambrano on this team. Yeah, the Cubs need pitching, but not bad pitching.

They need five Dempsters in the rotation! One can keep doing his Will-Farrell-doing-Harry-Caray impression, two can be Hans and Franz, one can be the Church Lady, and one can do Weekend Update!

Just guessing that Epstein, and new GM Jed Hoyer…


…can find someone with a 4.80 ERA for less than $18 million.

Dempster’s only making $14M, and his ERA was EXACTLY 4.80! Perfect!!!

Wise up, he’s a bad pitcher and a bad teammate — two on, none out.

Now batting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota…Mota…Mota…

Wait, what the hell are we doing?

The bad teammate part of Zambrano’s act is particularly important to consider as the Cubs’ Baseball Moses tries to lead the franchise out of the desert.

“And into the ‘Promised Land’ (a/k/a The World Series) for the sake of the Israelites (a/k/a Cubs fans) while acting on behalf of God (a/k/a Tom Ricketts). This is my best analogy yet!”

/masturbates into a mock turtleneck

We have to believe Epstein until we can’t…

This sentence is already so stupid, my eyes just ate paste.

…so it’s worth noting that several times during his introductory news conference two days ago he cited the need for players to have each other’s back.

You can’t spell great teammate without “Manny Ramirez”! You also can’t spell “I MARRY ZEN MAN.”

Zambrano is the “before’’ picture when it comes to dysfunctional clubhouses. He’s working on, I don’t know, his 87th second chance.

His 174th chance???

He would seem to be exactly what Epstein wouldn’t want.

He would seem to be exactly what Epstein couldn’t afford, and here’s why:

Bringing back Zambrano to a clubhouse that seemed happy with his exile would cost Epstein some credibility among players and fans.

You mean we’d have to stop blowing him to look into his dreamy eyes and scowl disapprovingly? NO CHANCE.

It would reek of the last administration.

This deal smells faintly of Jack Daniel’s and old tacos!

Epstein was brought in precisely because he isn’t the last administration.

Yeah, because it would have been super-awkward if they held the press conference Tuesday and were all, like, “As the replacement for Jim Hendry and Crane Kenney, we’re announcing our new administration…JIM HENDRY AND CRANE KENNEY!”

He was brought in because he does things differently. He said as much on Tuesday. Don’t go from honeymoon to hypocrite.

Or from ass to mouth.

If you’re serious about changing the clubhouse culture, you trade Zambrano and eat the salary or you tell him to stay away and eat the salary.

And you’re not getting up from that dinner table until every last scrap of that salary is gone, young man!

Change can be expensive. Credibility is priceless.

No, it’s not. It’s whatever your salary is. Because that’s how much the Tribune is refusing to eat to get theirs back.