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Despite getting back to his formerly dominant self, Carlos Zambrano is taking the opportunity in the (positive) spotlight to remind folks that he plans to retire when his current contract is up.

“Like I said, I don’t think I will be playing any more after these three years,” Zambrano told reporters after last night’s win against the Cardinals. “A friend of mine told me anytime I’m batting I look excited, I look happy, more than when I’m pitching. So I want to mix it up. I want to have 50-50. When I’m pitching, I want to have the same enjoyment, the same motivation I have when I’m hitting, what I’m doing right now.”

When prompted to discuss why he’d be discussing retirement when he’s pitching so well, Zambrano was steadfast

“Because I told you the other day, or last year, or this year, whatever, that this will be my last contract,” he said. “So I don’t think I will be playing any more. Life is short. Believe me. And sometimes you miss things with your family and very important people like my daughters. Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn’t miss, and I don’t want to (miss) any moment for my daughter, any moment for anything that happens, especially in my family. Believe me, baseball takes a lot of time from us.”

But even in his confidence, he couldn’t help himself from slipping in a tiny hedge:

“So I think, depending on what happens in my career, I think this will be the last contract.”

Of course, Zambrano could have meant “depending on what happens, I might not make it the three years,” but it’s also possible he’s leaving open the door that he might hang on for longer. After all, he’ll still be in his early 30s at that time.

It’s crazy to think it, but, given how well he’s pitched over the past month, fans are almost certainly hoping he changes his mind.

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