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Tomorrow, Zambranogate – the obvious and cheesy name I gave to the events and aftermath surrounding Carlos Zambrano’s explosion on his teammates last month – will come to a close, as Zambrano returns to the team, and will pitch out of the bullpen.

He offered a public “apology” in an ESPN interview earlier this week, but he’s expected to give a more detailed, personal apology to teammates upon his return. And the team is looking forward to it.

Derrek Lee said he’s looking forward to Zambrano’s return.

“It will be good to put it behind us,” he said. “I really don’t think it’s going to be a big issue. We’ll welcome him back and move on.”

He hopes that Zambrano apologizes to the team.

“We’re looking forward to the apology,” he said. “I think that’s what needs to happen.”

Piniella’s perspective: Lou Piniella said he’s not worried about Zambrano’s rough outing for Iowa on Tuesday when he tossed 1 inning of relief in Albuquerque, giving up 3 hits and 3 runs while walking one, striking out one and hitting one.

“The reports were that he threw the ball better than the results,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella told reporters in Houston. “(Iowa) should’ve turned a double-play ball, and (there were) a couple bloop singles. The reports were that he threw the ball better than the outcome and that’s really what we’re concerned about more than anything else.

“All he’s doing is getting some work in here, getting some work in and throwing some pitches. I’m not concerned at all about him being ready. He’ll come in and do the absolute best he can. The first thing is to talk to the team and clear that hurdle and we’ll go from there.” Daily Herald.

Hopefully Z pitches effectively, which will do more to put this all behind us than anything else. If he struggles, it will be a constant reminder of what’s happened this year – and when the team returns home, the Wrigley crowd will not be kind.

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