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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.

  • jstraw

    Certain elements of these reports are not supported by the video.

    1.) Z is passed Lee when he begins yelling and he’s clearly not yelling at anyone in particular.

    2.) After Lee turns and paces back the other direction, still yelling, Lee says something to him, reported to be “STFU.”

    3.) THEN Z directs his tirade at Lee and is cut off from Lee by Piniella, Rothschild and Soto.

    4.) Piniella and Rothschild take Z up the tunnel.

    5.) During the next inning, Z is seated on the bench once more and Lou walks to him and pats him on the leg. Things seem to have cooled down.

    6.) Later, Piniella is quoted as saying Z needs to apologize to his teammates.

    7.) Hendry suspends Z and is a font of quotes.

    I still have not read anything that confirms Z was ever sent from the ballpark by Piniella.

  • Hawkboy64

    I wanna be a number 1 strter , I wanna be paid like one, what I should pitch like one , What a fucking turd it’s really old and we took gorzaleanny out of the rotation fr this put Carlos back onto long relief and let him sit there frever gr all I care trade him if u can otherwise. Let him sit

  • Tanner

    send him to AAA and see if Sanburg is ready for the big leages

  • Umpirejim

    Send him to class a ball let ride the bus for a year or two , I guanantee you he’ll be beggin to get out of his contract.

    • bric

      Zambrano is either a 10-5 guy or close to it. So somebody help me out (Randy, if you’re reading) what is the possibility of sending Z down to the minors? I’m pretty sure he has the right to refuse. I understand that these posts might not be serious but I’m just wondering what the options really are.

      • Ace

        A guy with 5 years’ professional experience can refuse a minor league assignment (it’s different than the 10-5 rights), but what I’m not sure about is whether it matters that the guy has minor league options left. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Cubs didn’t use all three of Z’s option years.

        • bric

          Thanks, Ace. I’m still not clear what you mean about the option years. I thought that referred to a buy out type deal.

          • Ace

            Not that kind of option year – minor league option years, is what I was referring to. Super short-form: players on the 40-man roster can be “optioned” back and forth to the minors during three seasons.

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