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Cubs trade of Zambrano takes starch out of rivalry

Only a month ago the Cubs were bluffing that they might make a run at trying to put Albert Pujols in blue.

But, boy, has the landscape changed in such a short time.

The Wee Bears last night basically gave Carlos Zambrano away to the Marlins. The fire sale is on and it's hard to imagine much excitement for the misguided folks who wore Cubs jerseys with Pujols' name on them to games at Wrigley Field last season.

No more Aramis Ramirez. No more Zambrano. Kerry Wood still doesn't have a contract for 2012. Carlos Marmol is believed to be on the trading block and Matt Garza is actively being shopped around. Why are the Cubs going to bother to play their schedule.

Roster guru Theo Epstein defintely has guts. I'll give him that much. He's not content to tinker on the fly. He's going to tear the cubs down to the stud walls and rebuild them in his image. And that's not something the Chicago fans -- who generally demand that their team open the vault and blow everyone else out of the water to land the players they want -- are used to.

It will be interesting to see how patient the Wrigley Field fans will be. They're used to losing. But they like to see big name, big money guys hit the ball over the ivy. And they love blustery players like Ramirez who, for all his faults, could lock horns with Chris Carpenter on a Sunday afternoon and turn in a classic game no matter where the Cubs are in the standings at that particular time.