Carlos Zambrano Says Chicago Cubs AAA Team? Send Him to Iowa

John SlaterContributor IJune 6, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MAY 18:  Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs looks on during a game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on May 18, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

“We stinks. That’s all I have to say.”

While I usually give great regard to the ramblings of “young” Carlos Zambrano (he’s 30), this postgame diatribe could possibly be the most childish interview I have ever seen.

Calling out your teammates is one thing. Degrading your ball club to the Triple-A level is another.

I take nothing away from the skills of minor league baseball players. They have reached a level of success that few athletes could even dream of. But the difference between Triple-A and Major League Baseball is the difference between… um…there is no comparison.

College football players often are inserted into National Football League rosters with hardly a notice of their rookie status. Adrian Peterson? Ndamukong Suh? First year players in the NFL are truly first year players. There are no “minor leagues.”

I’ll forgo any comparison between college football and an NFL minor league system solely for the sake of brevity, but obviously the two levels of football are more closely related than the many, many levels of baseball.

Similarly, the superstars of collegiate basketball seem to excel more quickly in the National Basketball Association than up-and-comers in the world of baseball. Carmelo? LeBron? Kids can come out of high school (James) and dominate the league. Or they can make an immediate impact after one year of college (Anthony).

The NBA thrives on kids forgoing their senior, junior, even sophomore seasons. My argument is not that this is a problem or that these guys should finish their education, or that it sets a bad example for rising stars in the basketball world.

My argument is this: Major League Baseball is not a level of success to be attained by a high school kid or even a college senior in his first year out of school.

Babe Ruth worked his way up—so did Mickey Mantle.

The best of the best of the best spend time in the developmental league, rookie League, A Ball, Double-A, Triple-A, toil their winters away in South America, Mexico, the Dominican Republic. The level of knowledge of kids coming out of school is incomparable to the level of knowledge that is necessary to compete in the Major Leagues.

Stephen Strasburg, just for example, was the Carmelo Anthony of baseball. Please, please, please forgive the comparison…but ballyhooed (please, please, please forgive the expression) by everybody with an opinion of college pitching prospects.

While Anthony started his first game after being drafted by the Nuggets, Strasburg began his career at Double-A Harrisburg.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh! Carlos Zambrano. What a joke. Comparing the Major Leagues to any minor league is completely without merit.

Anyone who has ever seen a Major League baseball game knows that the skill and precision and sheer ability is infinitely greater than only the best minor league prospects.

Just watch them play long-toss. It is like a missile firing out of their hand. Watch a minor league game and it’s a grenade. The point is that there is a visible difference between Major League Baseball and any lesser league. It’s the difference between charter jets and Greyhounds. Literally, I suppose.

Zambrano is worthless to a professional sports organization. He should be suspended or sent down to the actual minor leagues.

Somebody will pick him up—someone with deep enough pockets to pick up his exorbitant salary—but he should never again be allowed to play for the Chicago Cubs.

Calling out your teammates is one thing, but showing them up by implying they do not belong in the big leagues is, well…it stinks.