Baseball Magazine

Jim Thome Vs Carlos Zambrano

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
Jim Thome vs Carlos ZambranoThis past week baseball fans saw quite a contrast in performance and character on the part of two very prominent major leaguers.  Jim Thome reached the 600 home run milestone.   Unfortunately, Carlos Zambrano seemed to reach a milestone of his own by having yet another complete meltdown in front of everyone.  A while back I wrote a post called Separating yourself vs standing out.  If you didn't get the chance to read it, I recommend that you do because these two players are great examples of both.  
I had the chance to see Jim Thome quite a bit during his time with the Phillies and I was very impressed right from the start.  The way he presented himself on and off the field made him an instant hero to Phillies fans - a feat not easily done I might add.  Listening to all the announcers speak on his behalf after his 600th home run clearly indicated that this guy is loved by all who have met him.  Sean Casey (former player and now ESPN commentator) was a teammate of Thome for a bit in Cleveland and raved about how Jim Thome helped make so many players better just by being around them.  His conversations around the batting cage about hitting and his advice to young players on how to play and act in the major leagues has clearly impacted many people in the game in a positive way.
Jim Thome vs Carlos ZambranoNow we bring our attention to Carlos Zambrano.  Let me first say that I never met him nor have I had the chance to speak to anyone who does.  Clearly he has some "issues" and I wish him well in his efforts to address them.  That being said, the game of baseball and certainly the Cubs have had enough of his act.  In my previous post linked above, I mentioned that at some point, a player who "stands out" no longer has the ability to overcome the problems he causes in other areas.  I guarantee that Carlos Zambrano has been trouble for many years now for the Cubs organization.  Fortunately for him, his stats were good enough for the organization to turn the other cheek or sweep them under the rug.  Not any more.  The cost-benefit analysis clearly has now shifted far to the "cost" side of things.  It's time to show him the door.
Hopefully younger players are paying attention to all this.  In life and in baseball, we ourselves determine how we are seen by others.  Every time a player interacts in public or on a baseball field he gets the chance to create a positive reputation by being a person of high character.  That reputation will see you through some very hard times because many of your "fans" will come to your aid in support.  Burn those bridges on the way up and your trip downward will be that much quicker.  Just ask Carlos Zambrano.
Jim Thome vs Carlos ZambranoJim Thome vs Carlos Zambrano
Note:  On a lighter note, does anyone else see a resemblance in these two?  Come to think of it, has anyone ever seen both of these guys at the same place at the same time.  Hmmm...

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