The Latest Blowup From El Toro: Is Carlos Zambrano Really Retiring?
Prior to throwing at Chipper Jones, Zambrano surrendered back-to-back home runs to Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla, for a total of five home runs given up on the night. Zambrano’s teammates were critical of his behavior on the field. “I don’t think the Braves did anything to deserve that,” third baseman Aramis Ramirez told ESPN. Ramirez added that he didn’t think Zambrano’s career was really finished.
Zambrano’s career has been marred by erratic behavior. On June 4th of this year, Zambrano blew up at his teammates following a blown save in the 10th inning, calling them “Triple-A players.” Although he apologized for the incident, it undoubtedly left lingering resentment in the clubhouse. Zambrano also went through eight months of anger-management therapy following a dugout fight with then-teammate Derrek Lee on June 25, 2010. Clearly, the therapy didn’t help much.
The clubs placed Zambrano on the disqualified list, allowing him to go unpaid for 30 days. The players union is expected to fire a grievance, however, calling into question the length of time Zambrano can be placed on the disqualified list. Between the remainder of this season and next season, the Cubs still owe Zambrano approximately $24 million.
In some ways it’s hard to believe that Zambrano is serious about retirement. He’s only thirty, and while he’s not the pitcher he was several years ago, he hasn’t completely lost his stuff either. He’s also been known for letting his temper get the best of him and saying things he later regrets. On the other hand, this incident is only the latest blow up suggesting the possibility that Zambrano lacks the emotional faculties to manage the stress of playing professional baseball.
At any rate, it seems clear that Zambrano will never play for the Cubs again. In the past two years he’s fought with teammates, called his team a bunch of minor leaguers, and now left the team in the middle of a game. I don’t see how you can walk back into the clubhouse after all that.
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