Player Behavior

I don't know how many times I've said I don't care about the players in any other way than their performance. Over the years I have stressed this so many times I've lost count. One of the reasons why I wrote each year about how good Carlos Zambrano has been in his career was to point out that all that matters to me is their performance. I don't care about the sideshow. 

That he alienated every teammate he had didn't bother me. It didn't affect my opinion of him because my opinion was always about what he could do on the field. The routine blow ups by Zambrano didn't bother me either. He's an emotional player, I said. I believed it and I still do. Even if he wasn't, I still wouldn't care. He threw teammates under the bus all the time. Didn't bother me. He fought with teammates. Didn't care. He quit on the Cubs. I'd have quit too if I played for the Cubs.

The performance of the player is the reason why we spent an entire day on Another Cubs Blog celebrating Sammy Sosa following the announcement of his retirement in 2009. It is at least why I thought it a good idea that perhaps the only Cubs blog still supporting Sosa do something anyway. I guess I can't speak for everyone else who helped out on what is probably my favorite day on that blog.

Sosa cheated in at least two different ways that we know of. He corked a bat and was caught. Who knows how many times he used it. He used steroids. He lied to people about the corked bat, steroids and lied through an interpreter to the US Congress. Like Zambrano, he pissed off every teammate he had, he quit on the team. I remember when Don Baylor was hired and Baylor was talking about how Sosa was going to be working harder than he had the last couple years. Clearly this was a problem, but one that didn't bother me. 

I wanted the Cubs to sign Milton Bradley because he was a damn good ballplayer prior to joining the Cubs. I didn't care about the theatrics for him just as I didn't for Zambrano. 

Let's say that Ryan Dempster flat out lied to Theo. He told them straight up he'd accept a trade to the Braves and then when it was completed called them up laughing his ass off because he was lying. I wouldn't care because it doesn't affect his ability to play.

I also wouldn't care because I've already decided it's OK to cheat in multiple ways, lie to the fans over and over, lie to the government, treat players like shit, quit on your team and be an inssuferable asshole that nobody in baseball wanted to be around. 

Dempster? He was known as a great teammate. Nobody ever questioned his work ethic and nobody has ever suggested he consistently lied about anything, cheated or quit on the team. I haven't heard anything about him being an asshole either. So even if he had plotted all along to lie to Theo in a way that would fuck them he's a fucking saint compared Sosa, Zambrano and Bradley. 

I can't defend the despicable Milton Bradley and the likes of Sosa and Zambrano and then pretend to give two shits about what happened with Dempster and the front office. Here's my only question and it is the only one that matters to me: did it affect Dempster's performance? 

These players owe the Cubs nothing beyond what they're being paid for. No employee owes his employer anything beyond what they're being paid for. No employer owes any employee anything they aren't paying for. 

I'm not saying this is for everyone. I'm just saying that I don't have the time, energy or patience to sift through the mountains of shit the sportswriters publish to figure out what's true and what isn't. I have no interest in this shit. I want the Cubs to be good. I don't want them to be the most honest, hard working, pleasant, team in baseball. If they are, great. It's just not the least bit important to me. I couldn't care less what any of these guys do off the field. 

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