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Many professional sports contracts preclude players from participating in non-sanctioned extracurricular athletic activities like pick-up basketball games or extreme baking. After learning that Carlos Zambrano recently played some softball, I am wondering whether Chicago Cubs player contracts have the same kind of language.

According to a Sports Illustrated reader, who provided the picture at right:

“Last night in my men’s league softball game, an unlikely player happened to be on the other team. It was Carlos Zambrano. I would think the Cubs would not be too happy about this! He played left field every other inning and made sure to use his opposite throwing arm so he wouldn’t screw anything up. He popped up twice and hit one out of the stadium another time. Super friendly guy. He even offered to sign autographs for everyone after the game. Dude looks in shape, at least 20-30 lbs lighter.”

At least Zambrano looks in shape.

Now, am I actually troubled by Zambrano playing a little offseason softball? Nah. From the account, it sounds like he was doing his best to protect his money-maker, and was in no greater risk of injury than he would be doing usual offseason conditioning.

In fact, it’s kind of cool. Can you imagine showing up to re-live your high school glory days against a bunch of dudes with beer guts and poorly-groomed goatees (note: and you, yourself, are one of those dudes), and across the diamond strolls Big Z? I would probably squeal (if I was lucky) and shit (if I wasn’t).

I also highly doubt the Cubs aren’t already aware of Z’s softball escapades or would have a problem with it if they weren’t. To me, it sounds like solid community involvement.

And as long as he isn’t pitching, the odds that he explodes and kills someone’s mom because she didn’t bring enough orange slices is greatly reduced.

  • N

    This seems like a much safer idea than when he was playing soccer.

    • Ace

      Good point.

      • Hogan

        Ace, did you read the article on CCO about Sandberg? I love the site, but I don’t think that Sandberg would have become the super-sheriff, pushing Jim Hendry out from GM? vetoing the Garza trade? pushing A-Ram to first (boggles me that the guy covering the minors seems to think we have a viable third base option)? I don’t think Ryno would have had that kind of pull, even as the manager and a HOF Cub legend. Any thoughts?(Sorry, I can’t figure out how to comment on the CCO’s page and I new you were a reader)

        • miggy80

          What’s this CCO you talk about? sounds like another Cub website I can geek out on

          • Hogan

            Chicago Cubs Online, good coverage with lots of links minor league info. My second favorite stop on the Cubsblogoverse.

          • Ace

            If you’re going to go elsewhere in the Cublogoverse, CCO is among the best.

            • miggy80

              Ace, Bleacher Nation will aways be my first!

              • Ace

                Ha, thanks, Mig.

        • miggy80

          I found it Chicagocubsonline! That was a good article. I’m not sure if Ryno would of been able to nix trades. I do believe Sandberg would of been more apt to use the young guys. Not sure if Sandberg would of pushed Hendry out either. I know Hendry has had some success as GM, but how awesome would it be if Maddux was our GM!

          • Hogan

            Agreed, but I dont see him using young guys just to be younger. Young guys still have to prove themselves. Don’t get me wrong I would have loved Sandberg as the manager (almost had my wife convinced to name my son Ryne), but I do think Quade has the tools neccesary to excel in Chicago. He seems to handle the media well without sugar coating it. I think that honesty will work well with the egos on the team as well as the young guys.

            • miggy80

              Living in Des Moines I was able to see Quade and Sandberg manage (fyi, AAA managers often coach 3b). Their both very passionate and each had some success with the farm system. Would hate to see it but if this year is like last year I believe Hendry would not be resigned and possibly paving the way for Maddux. Then just maybe Maddux would lure Sandberg back.

  • Pingback: Carlos Zambrano jugando softball | La cueva de los Cubs de Chicago

  • Dave

    That’s an awful shirt he’s wearing

    • Ace

      Thanks a lot. I wore that shirt to my wedding.

      • Dave

        You must have a very….accepting spouse

        • Ace

          She wore a Matt Clement goatee.

          • Jeff

            At least it wasn’t a Goose Gossage goatee or a Rod Beck mustache.

  • Jeff

    I have my own celebrity softball story, and it’s cooler than this one. A couple of seasons ago my team was in the league playoffs and who shows up for the other team? None other than the Canseco brothers, Ozzie and Jose. They came in all cocky and confident, drawing lots of attention, only for both of them to suck royally. We have one of those awful spitball type softball pitchers and he completely owned the Canseco’s. They got mad and left after they both failed to get a hit in the top of the third. Complete douches, and they never said a word.

    • Ace

      WOW. Yes, that is a much better story. Did Jose follow it up with an on-field boxing match?

      • Jeff

        No, he just took his bat and went home. I don’t think it was a pleasant experience for them, they pretty much got it from everyone who wasn’t associated with their team. I was playing left field, so I’m not sure exactly what was said, but I think someone from the crowd asked him if he wanted a shot in the ass(or something along those lines) after he popped out, and that was it, they left without a word, in the middle of the game, with his team losing 4-1. I’ve always disliked Jose and never really had a reason for it, now I do, kind of.

  • pfk (Peter F. Kempf)

    Hey, whatever happens to Z, we will have some fun memories. I still think him throwing the umpire out of the game and then throwing the ball to the warning track is one of the greatest scenes of all time. Very original too. No base throwing or dirt kicking. He just ejected the ump from the game!

    • Ace

      My favorite was the double-plunking of Jim Edmonds.

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