Money Balls

The Miami Marlins were not shy about spending money to help build their new team for Ozzie Guillen. They gave Jose Reyes and Heath Bell fat contracts and were fairly aggressive in chasing Albert Pujols. Some critics say the Marlins’ front office was a bit reckless with those moves. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs hired ex-Red Sox “visionary” general manager Theo Epstein to run their baseball operations. Epstein is a “moneyball” guy who likes to evaluate players using stats and graphs and emotionless analysis while avoiding paying big contracts to big egos. His Vulcan-like brain decided that pitcher Carlos Zambrano was too volatile to keep in Chi-Town, so the smarty-pants GM offered Zambrano to the Marlins for pitcher Chris Volstad. Volstad would be cheaper than Zambrano, and unlike Zambrano, he wouldn’t throw Gatorade buckets in anger. Since that transaction, however, Volstad has been pretty atrocious, while Zambrano has been awesome. Volstad has gone winless for the Cubs with a fat-ass ERA of 7.46 and was just recently sent down to the Cubs’ AAA minor-league affiliate. Zambrano, meanwhile, has been at the center of the Marlins recent winning streak with a 1.96 ERA, a 1.610 WHIP, and nary a Gatorade bucket hurled at anyone. On top of all that, the Cubs are still paying a $15 million portion of Zambrano’s contract. Look who the smarty-pants visionaries are now! The Marlins will test that vision against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park (1390 NW 6th St., Miami) Tuesday. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. Tickets cost $13 to $95. Visit
Tue., June 5, 7:10 p.m., 2012
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Chris Joseph