eduardo_verastegui_shirtless.jpg image by EktorOni

[A shirtless photo of Zambrano could not be found at press time, so a CSTB staffer was asked to pose (thank you Rob Warmowski!)]

‘”I’m going to show her my guns so that she can call me lazy again,” Zambrano recently huffed at the Sun-Times‘ Chris De Luca, in a quite sensible response to Carol Slezak’s recent complaints about Z.  Indeed, the Cubs went on an all-out PR campaign this week to refute the outrageous charge that Zambrano is lazy made by, well, Zambrano himself. Cub GM Jim Hendry confidently announced this afternoon that he isn’t at all worried about Zambrano’s paper mache back or recent admission that he’s “lazy.”  That said, Big La-Z-Boy got blown out 15-6 tonight by the apparently fearsome last place Washington Nationals.  The good news “ the Cubs actually hit 6 runs in ONE game, one of them a Zambrano solo shot.   Zambrano’s lazy days of summer interview has been fuel for the fire of the What Happened To The ’09 Cubs Blame Game.  While I’ve been remiss in covering Big Z’s casual work ethic, one thing’s for sure “ he’s but one problem of many. The Carol Slezak column that got Z to the gym gives a nice cataloging of Cub faults, and while she gives props to the ladies bathrooms at Wrigley, that offers this fan little in the way of practical good news.  Worse, she presents the Cubs a sterling role model “ the South Side.  Chris De Luca of The Sun-Times gives a sympathetic ear to Zambrano here:

He was particularly upset by a Carol Slezak column in the Sun-Times this week that included this message: ”If I were running the Cubs, I’d be looking for a way to make this lazy pitcher somebody else’s problem.”

Zambrano’s response: ”That lady that says I was lazy, I want to see her on Tuesday. I want to be with no shirt so that she can see my body, and she can see what type of body I have. If I’m lazy, lazy people don’t have this body, so I’m going to show her my guns so that she can call me lazy again.

”I’m sorry, people get hurt. We are human, and we get hurt. … We are not machines.”

The same Chicago press corps worshipped Kerry Wood. Many adoringly called him ”Woody,” prompting manager Lou Piniella to ask during his first season, ”Who?” You would never hear the Chicago critics blasting Wood. My gosh, he once struck out 20 Houston Astros.

Zambrano? Run him out of town.

One writer proudly announced in June — after Zambrano lost to the White Sox — that the Cubs should just release him and eat the rest of his $91.5 million contract. The bankrupt Chicago Tribune, which still owns the Cubs, promoted this idea as pure genius.