By Adam Harris
WRIGLEY FIELD (CBS) – It was the Ozzie Guillen, Carlos Zambrano, and Mark Buehrle show before the Cubs/Marlins game tonight at Wrigley Field, and the sweaty-hot, filled to capacity Marlin dugout wasn’t my assignment.
That was fine by me.
On the other side of the field, the home side, the Cubs took their normal batting practice, had their normal pregame workouts and meals, but did it with less distractions.
“I don’t even notice it,” Cubs’ Manager Dale Sveum said. “There’s all kinds of different games and days…but I don’t really dwell on what’s going on in the other dug out.”
It was actually nice in the third base dugout. I was able to take in batting practice and keep an eye out for more subtle news stories, such as Yankee General Manager Special Assistant Jim Hendry taking in a game.
Some of the players didn’t mind a less crowded dugout, and really had no opinion on the Ozzie Guillen/Miami Marlin circus going on on the other side.
“He’s [Ozzie Guillen] not in the lineup is he?” Tomorrow’s starter Jeff Samardzija said. “Ozzie’s fine. I mean…whatever…he does what he wants to do. He’s a grown man and he can do that.”
Guillen can be a distraction to a struggling club, or any club for that matter, but today he was nothing but a breath of fresh air for the home team.
Fellow CBS reporter Sam Zuba and I were exchanging text messages during the Marlins media session and while he was where the action was, I must say I had it cooler than him.
“I’m melting in the Marlin dugout.” – Zuba
It was nice to take notice of an exchange between Theo Epstein and Jim Hendry. It was helpful to watch Anthony Rizzo launch balls into the upper deck, and then shorten up and slap a ball down the left field line when told to do so. I also was able to watch, “MLB: The Franchise” producers and camera men chase around Marlin players such as Carlos Zambrano.
Thanks to my fellow reporters, David Schuster and Sam Zuba for sweating it out, because I was able to take notice from a spot that most people don’t get to.
Big Z Speaks
“Let’s talk about the future. Let’s talk about Miami…I feel good here and we have a good team.”
That was how Carlos Zambrano answered his second question from the media when asked to look back on his time in Chicago.
Then he gave the fans what they have been looking for, for a long time.
“I have good memories and I still love these fans,” Zambrano said. “Once again, I apologize for anything I did. All I wanted to do is win in Chicago…It was out of control and it was out of frustration.”
Zambrano also told the media, he didn’t want to pitch during this series this year.
“I just didn’t want to pitch here,” Zambrano said. “Not this year. The time will come that I can.”