The Cubs have a very good media-relations department. For whatever reason, though, Carlos Zambrano and his handlers have chosen to bypass those folks and do media on their own. Who couldn't have predicted the results would be disastrous?
Now, Zambrano and Co. are doing damage control of damage control. By now, you've probably seen Z's LeBron moment on ESPN yesterday. That went over like the proverbial lead zep here in Chicago. So Z today went to cubs.com. That, apparently, was to try to do damage control on the damage control he tried to do Monday on ESPN.
If you remember, Big Z was supposed to apologize to his teammates first and then talk with the media. But the allure of the Worldwide Leader apparently was too much.
"I know I made a mistake," Zambrano told MLB.com on Tuesday, apparently referring to his dugout tirade at Sox Park on June 25 and not going to ESPN first. "I'm a person and a human, and I know when I make a mistake. I have to come to the team and apologize.
"I'm not going to [apologize] because [the Cubs] said I have to do it," he told my colleague Carrie Muskat, the Cubs beat writer for mlb.com. "I'm going to do it from my heart. I want to be clear and at peace with my teammates."
Carrie reported that Zambrano spoke to MLB.com before traveling to Albuquerque with the Cubs’ Class AAA Iowa team, where he is doing a rehab stint while on the restricted list.
Zambrano told Carrie he was motivated to do the ESPN interview in an attempt to clear up some misunderstandings. Big Z stiffed reporters last week in Iowa, where he was supposed to talk (the poor media-relations folks in Iowa were really put in a bad spot by Z and his handlers). But Z left Principal Park without talking, apparently wanting to talk with his teammates first. For that, you can’t fault him. The media should come after in-house business is taken care of first.
Carrie also writes today Zambrano “said Tuesday that he was told not to speak to reporters by the Cubs front office.”
Of course, that all changed Monday when Team Zambrano went rogue.
Predictably, Zambrano and his crew have been shredded today, in the papers and on talk radio. Maybe next time Zambrano and agent Barry Praver ought to dial up Peter Chase and the crew in the media relations office, listen to what that staff has to say and respect their expertise.
Should be a very interesting weekend in Colorado.
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