Tag:Carlos Zambrano
Posted on: June 29, 2010 12:43 am

Zambrano claims he was just misunderstood

Embattled Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano spoke out Monday, sort of, as former teammate Kevin Millar revealed Zambrano's comments during a phone call between the players on Saturday night.

Millar, now an analyst for MLB Network, told the Chicago Tribune that Zambrano claims he was simply trying to fire up the team when he exploded in the dugout after a bad first inning Friday. Zambrano, placed on the restricted list and sent for anger management, says he didn't mean the comments to be directed toward first baseman Derrek Lee, who engaged Zambrano in an angry exchange.

Apparently Zambrano had been lobbying his buddy Carlos Silva to yell at the team, since Silva is having a good season and, according to sports protocol, therefore has more leeway to yell at people. But finally Zambrano decided to do it himself.

The statement in the Tribune story that most rings true is in the words of Millar:

"But see, this is the problem: we give huge contracts to players and now we think 'Oh, that equals leadership,' or, 'If a guy's doing well, that equals leadership.' That's not the case. You create these monsters through organizations and Carlos Zambrano's Carlos Zambrano."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 28, 2010 5:22 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2010 7:16 pm

Zambrano suspension could be over soon

An unnamed Major League Baseball executive told the Chicago Tribune that pitcher Carlos Zambrano probably won't face a long-term suspension and will likely be back in uniform -- assuming the Cubs don't trade or release him -- in a couple of days.

"Probably a four- or five-game suspension would suffice," the executive said. "As much attention as the incident received in Chicago, you really can't justify a suspension of more than that for acting like a goof and arguing with a teammate.
Zambrano has already sat out two games. It is not believed the Cubs will try to put Zambrano on the restricted list, in which case they would not have to pay him. That would surely be met by a challenge from the players' association.

Manager Lou Piniella has said Zambrano will work out of the bullpen upon his return.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: The Cubs will place Zambrano on the restricted list after all.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 28, 2010 2:06 pm

Stone can't stop talking about the Cubs

Carlos Zambrano
For a White Sox announcer, Steve Stone sure seems to spend a lot of time talking about the Cubs.

His latest? Carlos Zambrano should replace Derrek Lee at first base.

Zambrano is a heck of a hitter for a pitcher, but he's still a pitcher. He's a career .237/.243/.391 hitter and is hitting .250/.238/.250 for the Cubs this season. He has 20 career home runs, none this season.

Lee's hardly been as productive as he has been in the past, but he's still hitting .236/.367/.499 this season with 10 home runs.

Stone was on "The Mully & Hanley Show" on WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago and floated his idea of turning Zambrano into the next Rick Ankiel, according the Chicago Tribune .

"It might be time for [Zambrano] to take some ground balls at first base," Stone said. "If you're going to get anything out of Zambrano and if you can't trade him…

"There are teams that would take Zambrano as the fiery guy, but there are not teams that are going to take the 3-6, 5.65 ERA or whatever … The fact is, Carlos' stuff is short. It's been short for a bit. The Big Z stuff where he won 18 games, those days are over for him."

More troublesome than his 5.66 ERA is the roughly $45 million left on his contract. Despite the absurdity of Stone's idea, it is close to one way the Cubs could get some value -- although nothing close to $45 million worth -- is using him as a pinch-hitter/long reliever, much like Micah Owings in Cincinnati. That's not much, but it is something if the team doesn't want to eat the entire contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 27, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2010 2:04 pm

Zambrano Watch: Day 3

Carlos Zambrano Another day, another day full of Carlos Zambrano drama.

The short history for you if you've missed it all: Zambrano stunk against the White Sox, continued his tired baby act in the dugout, was pulled from the game, got in a screaming match with Derrek Lee, got sent to the clubhouse, then sent home, was suspended indefinitely by the team, ruffled feathers by going out to dinner with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen that night and then manager Lou Piniella said if the Cubs re-instate Zambrano, he'll be headed to the bullpen. And that's as short as I can make the roundup.

So, what's up today? First off, Major League Baseball and the Players Association are expected to meet today about the suspension.

"It's really kind of a day or two away from knowing any more than that," general manager Jim Hendry tells the Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan .

The Cubs would like to replace Zambrano on the roster, but are now playing with 24 men until the Zambrano situation is resolved.

Secondly, Piniella said nobody in team management has talked to Zambrano since Friday's outburst.

Thirdly, the Chicago Sun-Times ' Gordon Wittenmyer has talked to a friend of Zambrano who gives his side of the story.

Here's what Wittenmyer wrote:

And Zambrano already is calling his actions Friday ''completely misunderstood'' and blaming Derrek Lee for turning it into a big deal by confronting him during his ranting and raving after the White Sox' four-run first inning.

''All he wanted to do was pump the team up. It was completely misunderstood,'' a source close to Zambrano said, adding that Lee ''took it personal'' and told Zambrano to ''shut the f--- up.''

Yet team sources say Zambrano's rant -- much of which was in Spanish -- included yelling, ''This team is horse s----!''

That's when Lee is caught on camera intervening and telling Zambrano to shut up.

They had to be separated.

So, about Zambrano's version?

''That's not the way we see it,'' said Alfonso Soriano, who planned to call Zambrano on Saturday night. ''If he explains, maybe we can see it the way his friend sees it. But what he said wasn't right.''

As one Cub put it, ''Anybody who believes [Zambrano's version] must be smoking something.''

Asked if teammates could forgive Zambrano, Soriano said, ''I don't know.'' 


Wittenmyer also adds that pitcher Carlos Silva, in his first year with the club, is Zambrano's "only" friend on the club and the rest of the club is hoping Zambrano isn't a Cub much longer.

There's little doubt this story will end in typical Cub fashion -- neither well, nor soon.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 26, 2010 6:57 pm

Guillen/Zambrano dinner stirs reactions

Hours after being suspended by the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano was out enjoying dinner with Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the White Sox, whom the Cubs were playing when Zambrano lost his cool.

That didn't sit well with Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush.

"I would've thought that with the events of yesterday that Carlos would've went home and spent some time reflecting on what happened, thought about his career and his teammates and maybe where he was at and what had happened," Bush told reporters Saturday. "I'm disappointed to hear he was out yukking it up at dinner."

Manager Lou Piniella agreed.

"I would've hoped he'd stayed in private and reflected on this, but that's just my thought," Piniella said.

Even under ordinary circumstances, a manager socializing with a player from an opposing team during a series would be considered bad form. But White Sox GM Ken Williams said in a radio interview that he didn't have a problem with it in this case.

"In an ordinary situation, yes, I might feel compelled to pick up the phone and call the opposing general manager," Williams said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. "But [Cubs GM Jim Hendry] is very well aware of the relationship that those two gentlemen have, and I think is also aware of the positive influence that Ozzie can have on his friend. It's not about baseball, it's about his friend."

The Tribune also reports that the Cubs held a 10-minute team meeting before Saturday's game. Piniella said that if Zambrano's suspension is lifted, he would go to the bullpen. Tom Gorzelanny will take his spot in the rotation.

The Cubs are playing with a 24-man roster with Zambrano suspended. The team sent a letter to Major League Baseball inquiring about how long they could suspend the pitcher and what happens with the roster.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 26, 2010 5:49 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2010 7:39 pm

Zambrano mess: What now?

Carlos Zambrano Carlos Zambrano dropped a big ol' mess in the Cubs' laps Friday with his latest tirade, which gave the team no choice but to suspend him indefinitely.

Now the Cubs have to decide what's next.

Manager Lou Piniella said Zambrano would have to "at least" apologize to his teammates before he could return to the team, and just for easy reference the Chicago Tribune has compiled a list of notable past Zambrano apologies.

The fact that he has done so many things that require apologizing points to the bigger question: Should the Cubs bring him back at all?

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says no, that enough is enough. A lot of Cubs fans agree with him.

At this point, the one and only reason to keep him is financial. It would cost $45 million to make this problem go away, and while it's easy for fans to say "good riddance," it's a tougher proposition when the money is yours.

Is Zambrano going to give the Cubs $45 million in baseball value if he stays? Probably not. He's not winning games now, and he's not likely to return to the form that made him an 18-game winner in 2007. At the moment, he's not even one of the Cubs' top five starting pitchers.

Is the absence of Zambrano going to save the Cubs $45 million in headaches? That's impossible to quantify.

The bottom line is that the $45 million is irrelevant to the question of whether to allow Zambrano to wear a Cubs uniform again. It's a sunk cost. They're going to be writing Zambrano checks for a long time, whether he's pitching for them or not. The money is spent, and it's difficult to picture a scenario in which the five-year contract they gave him in 2007 will go down as anything but a mistake. Next time they are tempted to pledge $91.5 million to a guy they know has the emotional maturity of a toddler, the Cubs will probably think twice.

The team can try to trade him, and as long as Chicago is paying the freight someone would probably be be desperate enough to take him off their hands. Zambrano has a full no-trade clause, but at this point you have to think he'd waive it to get a fresh start.

If I'm Cubs GM Jim Hendry, I'm doing everything in my power to convince ownership that it's not worth letting the bad apple continue to spoil the bunch. 

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 26, 2010 12:21 am

Guillen, Zambrano dine

Despite the drama of the day, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano went through with their planned dinner, according to Guillen's Twitter account .

Guillen tweeted: "Having dinner whit carlos and his family. Great dinner a lot fun and talk"

I'm sure Zambrano does a killer Lou Piniella impression that Guillen finds hillarious.

Zambrano was suspended indefinitely following his on-field blowup earlier in the day and Guillen's red-hit White Sox eased past Zambrano and the "dead-ass" Cubs.

After the game, Guillen was asked about his countryman and if he could manage him, he said he could.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 25, 2010 8:08 pm

Cubs suspend Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs following his meltdown on the Southside of Chicago earlier on Friday.

General manager Jim Hendry made the announcement after the gamma, saying Zambrano's behavior in the team's dugout was "not acceptable."

"His actions toward his teammates and staff were not acceptable," Hendry said. "He will not be at the ballpark tomorrow. We'll play with 24. We'll play with 24 before we tolerate that kind of behavior."

Hendry said he "wouldn't rule it out" that Zambrano would pitch for the Cubs again. As previously discussed, his contract is an albatross. He is owned more than $40 million through the 2012 season.

Manager Lou Piniella said Zambrano's actions were "unacceptable" and Derrek Lee, who also shouted at Zambrano during the incident, declined comment after the game.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters after the game he could manager Zambrano.

"Yes I can, yes I can, why not?" Guillen said. "This is not tampering either. He asked me a question and I answered it. I can manage anybody. I can. Why not? You go about your stuff, you believe in yourself, you believe in respect. I'm not afraid [to manage] any player in baseball because I'm going to give them all the respect I can to perform for me."

The problem, though, is Zambrano has repeatedly shown little respect for his teammates. Guillen and Zambrano have become fans and were scheduled to have dinner together Friday night, the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley reported .-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com