I’ve got more action than my man John Woo and I’ve got mad hits like I was Rod Carew. -Beastie Boys
Public Service Announcement: There was a time when the pitcher was often the best hitter on his team. A time when guys like John Montgomery Ward, Wes Ferrell, Walter Johnson and George Herman Ruth roamed the earth. Those time are not these times. In these times, players are far more skilled than their ancestors. In these times, pitching and hitting are both so difficult, that specialization is a must. In these times, it’s almost impossible for any one person to perform both tasks competently. That is of course, unless you’re name happens to be Carlos Zambrano. The Big Z. El Toro. The best home run hittenest pitcher in baseball today.
Carlos Zambrano is widely regarded as one of the best hitting pitchers in the game. A switch hitter, he stands at an imposing 6′ 5″ and 260 pounds and looks more like a DH than he does the NL’s winningest pitcher he once was. He’s accumulated three Silver Slugger Awards. He may never have hit the Budweiser building, but last night, he did something even more special.
Last night, Carlos Zambrano hit his first home run of the season. Big deal, you say? Who cares, you say? So what, you say. I’ll tell you so what. I’ll tell you who cares. I’ll tell you Zambrano leads all active pitchers with 21 career home runs. I’ll also tell you he has gone yard at least once in each of the last eight seasons. If that ain’t enough, he’s the first major-league pitcher to go yard in each of eight consecutive seasons since Gary Peters had a nine-year streak from 1963 through 1971. How about that!
The Big Z may be a little bit crazy. A little nutty. A little kooky. He may be as well known for his meltdowns on the field as he is for his pitching prowess. But I’ll tell you one thing. I’ll tell you this cat can flat out hit. Chicks dig the long ball and so do I. I dig me some Carlos Zambrano.
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!