With Carlos Zambrano officially on the disqualified list, and a battle between the MLBPA and the Cubs about to begin about whether the suspension is merited and whether the Cubs can treat Zambrano as retired, the opinions keep flying. Unsurprisingly, no one is defending Zambrano. Well, almost no one.
- Jim Hendry has started the process of burying Zambrano in the media, something that has become an annual tradition with guys he “has” to move. “We’ve had other instances of him not being the teammate I would [like] him to be,’’ Hendry said. ‘‘Not all of that is public.”
- According to Zambrano’s agent, Z returned to the clubhouse Friday night to return his things to his locker and to recant his retirement comments. Shrug. Think Zambrano’s agent has a reason to say Z tried to return his things and not retire?
- Ryan Dempster was blunt. “He’s made his bed; he’s got to sleep in it …. It’s not like it’s something new …. For us, we’ll just go out there and give our best tonight and move forward. The faster you move forward, the faster things get better.”
- Alfonso Soriano, who reportedly followed Z into the clubhouse after he was ejected on Friday and screamed at the pitcher, was also blunt. “He’s been doing a lot of things – not one, not two. He’s a big man, but I think mentally he’s weak.”
- Marlon Byrd, who talked to Zambrano yesterday, thinks Z will eventually be back. “Zambrano’s going to come back, and he’s going to apologize. I’m sure he’s going to pitch again. Where? I don’t know.”
- Rick Morrissey says Zambrano (and Alfonso Soriano) will be Jim Hendry’s undoing.
- Jon Greenberg says Zambrano has to go, and it would have been wise to move him sooner.
- John Smoltz and Chipper Jones, who holds no grudge against Zambrano for throwing at him, say Zambrano wouldn’t have lasted long on the Braves. On a separate note, the Braves have had a pretty good organization for a while, no?
- Friend Ozzie Guillen offered tepid support. “You know how many times I want to quit?” Guillen asked. “I can’t because I love this game. So does [Zambrano]. I guarantee you in two or three more days he’ll be thinking ‘Oh my God, what I did?’ I know that. I don’t know really what happened but I guarantee you he feels more embarrassed than anything else; about his performance.
- The Braves were honoring Bobby Cox on Friday night, so Jim Hendry apologized to the Braves for Zambrano’s stage-stealing antics. ‘I felt that anything at all that detracted from Bobby Cox’s night besides the normal competition of the game was quite distasteful,’’ Hendry said. “It’s a class organization. It was uncalled for, the pitch to Chipper Jones and anything at all that tarnished the evening for such a great baseball man like Bobby Cox.”