The (First) Carlos Zambrano Bullets

There are other things to discuss, but, for right now, there are so many Carlos Zambrano-related bullets that it merited its own post…

  • The mini-recap: Carlos Zambrano was ejected last night after twice throwing at Chipper Jones in “retaliation” for the Braves hitting back-to-back homers off of him (and for an earlier Jones homer). After his ejection, Zambrano packed up his locker, left the ballpark before the game was over, and told people in the clubhouse he was “retiring.” Shortly thereafter, Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry said that the Cubs will honor Z’s wishes and accept his retirement.
  • Mike Quade, as you might expect, was angry. “I’m really disappointed,” Quade said after the game. “His locker is empty. I don’t know where he’s at. He walked out on 24 guys that are battling their asses off for him. I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. I heard he has retired, or talking about retiring. I can’t have a guy walking out on 24 guys, that’s for damn sure.”
  • Quade went on: “I figured he has just decided he has had enough. I have too much respect for the rest of the guys in this room to worry. It’s on him now, and whatever he wants to do, whatever he’s going to do, I guess he has made up his mind because he didn’t stick around and tell anybody about it.”
  • Aramis Ramirez on Zambrano, his longest-tenured teammate: “I’ve never seen that before, someone just get pissed off and leave and retire. I’ve been around for awhile. Even with him, players don’t do that.” Ramirez said, though, that Zambrano would be welcomed back because “sometimes he just loses it.”
  • Marlon Byrd doesn’t sound like a guy who desperately wants Zambrano back: “He’s retiring? Well, then that means he has had enough. People retire for certain reasons. They’re done with the game. If that’s the case, I wish him well. I don’t know. I have no clue. He has talked about it before .… I guess we’ll see [Saturday]. If he doesn’t show up, we might not see him again …. Hopefully the rumors about him retiring aren’t true and he can come back [Saturday] and we can talk about it.”
  • Geovany Soto called it, simply, “shocking.”
  • Zambrano’s agent, Barry Praver, has not made himself available for comment. I’m thinking his Friday night and weekend were massively ruined.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

54 responses to “The (First) Carlos Zambrano Bullets”

  1. pfk

    Z’s voice mail message to his agent…”Ola Barry, dees ees Carlos. Me just retire from beeseball. I upset beecause we stinks and I stinks tonight too. I tell clewbhouse boy I reetiring. In taxi I reemeember about me mohney. How chew get me my mohney?”

    1. VanSlaw

      Oh, I get it. This is funny because Zambrano is Venezuelan and he doesn’t speak his second language as good as you speak your first, right? I think you just managed to supersede Zambrano’s ridiculousness. Bravo.

  2. gblan014

    Obviously the highlight of this story is the whole retirement thing, but throwing at a hitter (twice) because he beat you fair and square is lower than low. As Brett said, “maybe” the Braves said something to him after all the home runs that wasn’t caught on camera. Maybe. But if not, you just can’t do that in the Major Leagues.

    1. awesome

      pitchers throw at hitters for whatever reason, has been happening since the game started.

  3. Lisa H

    Its a shame he is a slave to his emotions and kids look up to him and think its ok to act like that. He’s got a good bat and his arm isn’t so bad either, but in a way, I’m glad Hendry accepted his retirement. If Z hasn’t learned anything up to this point, about controlling himself, I’m sure he wouldn’t anytime in the future either.

  4. Brian

    This is so much like when my friends and I used to play pick-up games of baseball. Somebody always stormed off the field and rode their bike home during the game because they flat-out stunk. In the Cubs case that sourpuss is big Z.

    Part of me wants to see Zambrano gone because last night (and other Z incidents) was flat out ridiculous and way too dramatic. The other part of me wants to see him end his time with he Cubs with a little bit of pride. He shouldn’t burn his bridges with the team that gave him his name.

  5. MichiganGoat

    24 guys that are battling their asses off for him

    So that’s why we suck, the team is trying to win they’re battling for him. I love Q-speak!

    1. Ron Swanson

      I think you are stretching to rip Quade here. He’s basically saying that the rest of the team is giving more effort than Z. You think he should call them all out for lack of effort right now?

      1. MichiganGoat

        Not right now but to continue to pretend that this team is fighting for anything is just the continuation of Q believing we are a competitive team. Where was his anger when the other vets couldn’t knock a runner in with no out. The statement is also assuming that the team wants Z back, maybe they are all secretly thrilled ge might be gone ala Sosa.

        1. Ron Swanson

          Some times a manager has to say certain things. It’s part of managing people. I’m not necessarily defending his people skills but I believe that nitpicking and analyzing everything he says publically is almost certainly not a true picture of the whole. Taking comments about this particular situation and trying to apply them to the whole season comes off as a stretch. That’s all I’m saying.

        2. Ron Swanson

          Furthermore, would you prefer Quade publically say we suck, we’re done, what’s the point? Pretty sure you’d ride him for that too.

        3. VanSlaw

          Surely, there is nothing I hate more than a manager who gets behind his players and states that he believes in their ability and supports their efforts.

      2. awesome

        he should of held his comments for today, find out what’s going down. just how i would have liked to see a major, oops, minor league manager do.

  6. Jeremy E

    Well, he didn’t really show any emotion. I think he had his mind made up before he threw at Chipper Jones, who is a future hall-of-famer and deserves more respect then that. Not really the best way to end your career, but hey, that’s Big Z for you.

    1. awesome

      i believe if he wanted to hit Jones, he would have. even Jones later said he didn’t think Z was throwing at him. i believe Z wanted to be taken out, he was being hit hard, Quade for whatever reason left him in. so Z purposely made the ump throw him out. he didn’t argue, just walked for the dugout.

  7. Toosh

    Hendry should do with Zambrano what he should have done with Bradley. Sue him for breach of contract. Player contracts now are very complex. There might be some clause in there that Zambrano’s violated. It’s worth looking into.

  8. Toosh

    I’m sure you’re right, but it’s worth a shot. It’s the American Way. Cubs sue. MLBPA fights. Both sides agree on a compromise. Look at Ray Lewis. He murdered 2 guys at the Super Bowl. He should be in prison. He plea bargains down to obstruction of justice and keeps playing football and everybody forgets about the past. Now he’s doing commercials. God Bless the american legal system.

  9. philoe beddoe

    Wow…miss a little miss a lot….now ….we need to get Soriano to retire somehow….

    I wonder if Zambrano can get a refund on the money he paid for anger management courses last year….

    he should pull a Rick Ankiel and focus on hitting….I bet he would be better in left than Soriano..and he switch hits….

    1. awesome

      i wonder if Soriano is the one who made the statement “now we’re better”. heard that on ESPN radio today from Bruce Levin.

  10. Toosh

    Maybe it’s time for another set-up picture of CRicketts with his head in his hands. Any time you wanna do ANYTHING, Tommy Boy, go right ahead.

  11. Brent

    Missing in all of this is WHY was Z still pitching after giving up 8 runs on 5 HRs including back to back before throwing the pitches at Chipper. I know Z tied a Cubs record for giving up 5 HR in one game, so I can only guess Quade wanted to see if he could set a new record. That, or Quade purposely left him in to see if he could get Z to self-implode. If that is the case, let’s move Soriano to pitcher and see what happens.

    1. awesome

      ditto, i think Z wanted to be thrown out since Quade wouldn’t take him out. i really don’t think he wanted to hit Jones.

  12. pfk

    For sure the Players Association is going to be all over this one. If the Cubs have to take him back for no other reason than they are forced to take him back – that is one thing. To do it in the spirit of, “Lets shake hands, put it all behind us and go forward,” would be wrong because that makes them an enabler. And, frankly, one of the reasons he does these things is because the Cubs have already been an enabler.

  13. Spencer

    Is he mad at the team or what? Or just frustrated with the season? The whole AAA thing earlier this year…I sort of understand why he said that. But retiring? You don’t have anyone to blame but yourself for giving up 5 HRs and then buzzing someone inside twice. The Cubs should apologize to Chipper and the Braves organization publicly if they haven’t already. I hope he stays retired. I don’t care if the Cubs have to pay him or not.

  14. Vince

    Z should have taken Quade with him..

    1. Ol'CharlieBrown

      Maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe Zambrano is trying to get as far away from Quade as possible. Maybe Quade is part of the reason that Zambrano may not want to play for this team anymore…

    2. awesome

      agree. Hendry has wanted Z out but, remember the NTC. this was his chance and he jumped on it faster than Campana runs. he would do the same with Soriano.

  15. Cbp

    Will the cubs go Wavier hunting or will Coleman get the job?

  16. Ralph

    I hope I never have to see Zambrano pitch again. It gets old watching somebody who makes more in a month than I will make in my entire life act like a baby who is owed something above his given talents and insane salary. Any time a close pitch doesn’t go his way, he smirks, when he gives up 5 homers… he smirks… when he gets ejected…. he smirks. There’s nothing funny about being a pussy and not giving a shit about fans, umpires, or teammates and clearly giving up once a game gets away. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a wife beater in retirement. I said last night that I would trade Zambrano to Toronto for a case of Molson Ice… but he’s worth far less that that… let’s examine those words… Worthless! Can we apologize to Michael Barrett and ask him to come out of retirement? We should have traded Z for Bowen and Kyler Burke back then, it’s more than he’s worth now!

  17. Patrick Ryan

    Good ridance and dont let the door hit you in the ass pleasetake Soriano and Byrd and Pena and Ramariz and Soto and Dempster with you.

    1. Toosh

      Hear, hear!

  18. RoughRiider

    I doubt that Quade left Zambrano in to get him to implode. If he did, he would someday face the consequences of those actions. There are 11 other pitchers on the team. No matter how the other players may feel about Zambrano they would have to think that if they got on the wrong side of Quade they could face the same lack of support. How well do you think that would go over with them? He certainly wouldn’t be considered a players manager anymore. More likely, he and Riggins had their heads someplace else.
    Off the field Zambrano has been portrayed as a kind man and a caring individual. From all indications he has done more right than wrong. No doubt he needs help but I submit that he isn’t the only one to lose self control over the last 24 hours.

  19. Joyce K

    I knew it wasn’t going to be a good game the first time Z came up to bat and swung at the bad pitch to strike out. He wanted to break that bat so bad it was like watching a tea pot on the stove the rest of the game. What an idiot. Why do these clubs pay all this money in long term contracts to the players when you never know from game to game what these guys will do let alone from year to year. No one is worth 50, 100 or even more in millions. I would rather watch Campana try to pitch than see Z out there again.

    1. Jeff

      When Zambrano signed his big deal, he was more than worthy of the contract. He was as close to an ace as they’ve had since Maddux. If Zambrano had been the same pitcher after he got rich as he was before the deal, this team would be in a lot better shape.