As the World Turns…
Video of Zambranogate shows the pitcher storming into the dugout after giving up four runs in the first inning on Friday, shouting – at no one in particular – and gesticulating wildly. Derrek Lee can be seen shouting “shut the f*ck up” to Zambrano, who turns, and directs his anger more visibly at Lee. All reports – from writers, the players, and management – indicated that Zambrano’s initial yelling, though not directed at Derrek Lee’s face, was about Lee’s play in the first inning, as well as other Cubs.
Carlos Zambrano apparently says that’s not the way it happened.
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.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Zambrano has never had a vocal group of supporters in the Cubs clubhouse, but I honestly never believed it would come to this. Teammates are going out of their way to criticize Zambrano – something that, although common for the Cubs in recent years, you just never see on other teams.
He’s not helping himself by staying out of contact with the Cubs (though Carlos saw fit to go out to dinner with Ozzie Guillen the night he was dismissed from the team), but if there is this much hostility directed toward him over an incident that appears, on first glance, to be little more than Carlos being Carlos, that suggests that he’s probably right to keep his distance.
It also suggests that there’s a lot more than meets the eye going on here. A few years ago, Zambrano lost it on teammate Michael Barrett in the dugout. Carlos chased him down in the clubhouse, and beat his ass. There was some flap over it, but nothing compared to what’s happening now. Might that be because there’s more going on behind the scenes?
When was the last time you heard a manager and GM – and teammates – being so vocally critical of a player? Ok, bad question to ask Cubs fans. But again I say, on other teams, this shit just doesn’t happen. I’m not getting into the whole the-Cubs-pick-the-wrong-players-and-take-on-unnecessary-risks thing; I’m just saying that there’s probably a whole lot more to this story than we’ve yet heard about.
And Zambrano offering his side is just the beginning.