FOX Sports Exclusive
Zambrano completes Marlins' circus act
To: Rick Jaffe, Senior VP, FOXSports.com
Subject: Request for reassignment
Much as I enjoy covering all 30 teams as the senior baseball writer for FOXSports.com, the time has come for a change.
I am writing to ask that you allow me to cover the Miami Marlins full time next season.
For the good of the company, of course.
I’ll take the Fish. Morosi can take the 29 other teams, including the pathetic Yankees and Red Sox, who suddenly are too cheap to sign utility infielders, much less starting pitchers who might actually help them beat the low-rent Rays.
Trust me, Rick, this has nothing to do with any desire of mine to live in Miami, party on South Beach and work at a new ballpark — I’m not that selfish.
You know me, Rick, it’s all about the story. And the Fish are about to make the old Bronx Zoo look like a petting zoo, turn Little Havana into their very own baseball asylum.
Actually, one shrink won’t be nearly enough.
You remember the old line about the Red Sox, 25 cabs for 25 players? The Marlins need 25 couches for 25 players, plus more for manager Ozzie Guillen, the front office and owner Jeffrey Loria, who surely is about to guarantee 130 wins.
Rick, this is a team that will require daily “analysis,” not just from professional “counselors,” but also baseball-writing hacks like myself.
I am ready to serve.
Bill Reiter covered the Miami Heat full time for FOXSports.com last season, did he not? King James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh weren’t one-tenth as entertaining as Ozzie, Big Z and Hanley Ramirez will be.
Not to mention Logan Morrison, the beloved @LoMoMarlins on Twitter, who engaged in this glorious exchange with Ozzie on Tuesday night.
(Please ignore the typos. These two work without filters, much less editors.)
@LoMoMarlins: “I really hope Ozzies on-field instructions r easier 2 understand than his tweets. I literally have no idea what this dude is talking about.”
@OzzieGuillen: “If you need instructions you are in big troble with me. Good players don’t need that lol. Happy new years.”
Rick, need I remind you that it is only early January.
Wait until spring training, the regular season and — one can only hope — the postseason.
In fact, I already can promise you the following exclusives:
• Ozzie ripping LeBron.
• Hanley ripping Jose Reyes.
• Big Z “retiring.”
• Morrison ripping team management.
The latter two stories, of course, will be encore presentations, reprises from last season. But don’t worry, I’ll make ‘em sing.
You may recall, I have histories with Guillen and Zambrano — histories that I am ready to exploit for one scoop after another.
Guillen is at or near the top of my “Managers on the Hot Seat” column every spring. Last season I dropped him to No. 2, just behind the Athletics’ Bob Geren, just ahead of the Marlins’ Edwin Rodriguez.
Pretty fortuitous, if I do say so myself, but Ozzie immediately began squawking on Twitter, saying he would take my job, etc. ... To quote LoMo, I literally had no idea what the dude was talking about.
I reminded Ozzie on Twitter that when he worked for FOX during the 2010 postseason, he pledged to wear a bow tie in a heartwarming display of network solidarity — and never did anything of the sort.
Ozzie responded that he would wear a bow tie the following postseason, at which point I reminded him that his goal should be to manage in the postseason, not broadcast in it.
And you wonder why Oz no longer is managing the White Sox.
With Big Z, I must admit, the situation was a little more tense. I mean, it isn’t often that a player screams at a field reporter in the middle of a nationally televised game, right?
Well, it happened last June. And it might have been the only incident involving Big Z over the last several years for which he received an apology.
From yours truly, of course.
Big Z had told me he was willing to waive his no-trade clause. I reported that on FOXSports.com and on the MLB on FOX broadcast. Big Z also had told me that he loved Chicago, loved Cubs fans and wanted to stay with the team. I included that in my FOXSports.com report, but failed to mention it on TV.
Evidently, Big Z was listening.
He yelled at me from the end of the dugout — yelled because it was loud and difficult to hear, not because he was in his usual assault-the-water-cooler state. For once, he actually had a point. I said so during the broadcast, and later on FOXSports.com.
Accountable guy that he is, I’m sure that Big Z remembers how accountable I was to him. I’ll probably end up writing his biography, don’t you think?
Rick, I beg you: Turn me loose.
Let others cover baseball as usual.
I’ll take Miami.