He’s lost it, and he’s been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs.
If you missed today’s Cubs/White Sox game, you missed some serious Carlos Zambrano related drama. Here’s a recap, and the money quotes:
Zambrano had to be separated from teammate Derrek Lee in the visitors’ dugout after surrendering four runs to the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field.
It was unclear what upset Zambrano, but his frustration was directed at Lee. The two were face to face before manager Lou Piniella and others intervened. Zambrano also walked up and down the dugout shouting and knocked over a Gatorade cooler before Piniella told him to go home.
“His conduct wasn’t acceptable,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “His actions toward his teammates and staff were not acceptable.
“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.”
Asked if there was any doubt in his mind that Zambrano would pitch again for the Cubs this year, Hendry said he “certainly wouldn’t rule it out” and added “the rules of the game usually don’t allow long, long-term suspensions.”
Zambrano is in the middle of a $91.5 million, 5-year contract extension he signed in August 2007, and Hendry said he doesn’t think his behavior could nullify the deal.
“It becomes a bit of a tired act,” Hendry said. “People think that he hasn’t been spoken to by Lou and his staff or the general manager before. Things are sometimes construed as being let go or let slide by — that’s certainly not true. You have every right to say it like that, that it’s a recurring situation. And every time it recurs, it is a little bit more disappointing.”
Tom Gorzelanny replaced Zambrano in the top of the second, and the Sox went on to win 6-0 for their 10th straight victory.
“He was ranting and raving and out of control,” Piniella said. “We just couldn’t tolerate that. It was embarrassing. There’s no excuse for this, none at all.”
Piniella said he would support Hendry’s decision.
“It’s a serious matter,” Piniella said. “There’s no need for this, none at all. I’m embarrassed. Carlos should be embarrassed.” ESPN Chicago.
When the General Manager and Manager are immediately coming out with statements like this, you know things are not good. Indeed, their statements suggest that things haven’t been good for a while.
Frankly, if you didn’t catch a name, and it was 2009, you’d swear they were talking about Milton Bradley. There will be plenty to discuss about this in the days to come.