The (Third) Carlos Zambrano Bullets

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.”

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

10 responses to “The (Third) Carlos Zambrano Bullets”

  1. MichiganGoat

    I’m looking forward to the “stories” that will be leaked about Z being a poor teammate and Z’s response about the Cubs being a poor organization. It should be good soap opera drama to keep us all entertained. You know it’s bad when when Sori says your mentally weak… Ouch!

  2. Ol'CharlieBrown

    Big props to Soriano for following Zambrano back into the clubhouse and giving him the business!! By far the coolest thing Soriano has ever done!

  3. LouCub

    oh yeah, it looks he’s worked real hard in preparing to play LF everyday and he’s worked real hard at laying off the outside pitches in the dirt!!! He may not be a club house cancer, but he sure as hell is one inside the baselines.terrible waste of talent!!

    1. Ol'CharlieBrown

      So much easier said than done. Some say this sport is the hardest game to learn and become great at. That’s why you’re considered successful when you get 30 hits in 100 at-bats, which would give you a .300 average. Not many other sports would you be considered successful when going 3 for 10 or 30 for 100. Soriano will still have a more successful career than many who play this game and make it to the major league level.

      A waste of talent? Yes, maybe because he has been mismanaged much of his career. I think Soriano was never meant to be an outfielder nor was he meant to be a lead off hitter. Nationals manager Frank Robinson wrote Soriano in the lineup to play left field to start the 2006 season. Up until then he had been an infielder.

      On August 25 of 2006, he became the fastest man in baseball history to reach 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases. In September of that same season, he completed his 20th outfield assist, becoming the only player in baseball history with 40 home runs, 40 stolen bases, and 20 assists. He also became the first person ever to reach 40 home runs, 40 stolen bases and 40 doubles in one season. He made his 5th consecutive All-Star appearance and became only the third man to start All-Star games for both leagues at two different positions. So when the 2007 season came around and we signed this left fielder, he didn’t seem like such a bad guy. Seemed like we were getting a pretty damn solid guy to take over left for us, though that was partly because he had only played the one full season in left. Anyone can seem good for a season, but after 6 seasons in left, his aging body and poor ability to read the flight and get a good jump on the ball were exposed and it became more and more clear that he isn’t meant to be out there.

      Has his hustle been questioned before? Yes. His lack of hustle coming out of the batters box? I believe just likes to stand and watch his hits a little too long. His lack of hustle in left field? I blame on his aging body and the bad knees that have come along with it. It’s tough to say that you would run full blast after a ball, knowing that the guy is going to get a double either way, fearing that by doing so your knees may give out on you and not only will you be on the disabled list, but you’ll be dealing with some pain. It’s easier said than done as we sit here behind our computer screens.

      Do I want Soriano playing left field for us anymore? No. Do I think he’s worthless and doesn’t have any passion for the game? Not at all.

      1. awesome

        Sorry charlie i don’t agree with you.

        so now it’s the managers he’s had that have hurt his development. Quade wrote DeWitt’s name in for LF in Boston, till then he was an IF’er. Soriano was never meant to play in the NL. he never was good at 2B, that’s why he was moved, he’s a DH. he could hit a baseball but, if you walk on the field you give your best, otherwise you’re cheating your teammates and fans. if you walk out there with 2 broken legs, you give it your all or sit your ass down.

        if you’re hurt or in pain but insist on taking the field, then you have no excuse for playing bad, scared or being lazy. Mickey mantle played on 2 bad knees all his career and never bitched, so did Dawson and they both played hard.

  4. philoe beddoe

    Yeah it’s not Sorianos fault the Cubs overpaid him…as much as I have somewhat defended Hendry…doesn’t it seem like a broken record with Sosa, Bradley and Zambrano all having very similar stories and exits?…somewhere deep in the Cubs organization it is embedded that it is ok to be a selfish prima donna….it seems that the Cubs have a good cop…good cop with Hendry and Quade….one or both has to go..if Ricketts has decided to keep Hendry he needs to step in and get more of a hard-ass manager…..of course it’s the typical cycle in pro sports….Baker(players manager), Pinella(doesn’t know players names), Quade( everyone has a nickname)…..next guy tough guy….

  5. Deez

    Defeatist attitude.
    Real teammates & leaders don’t criticize each other in public. “Praise in Public, Criticize in Private.” These guys are all losers! Every Veteran we have on that team & even the manager has not shown me an ounce of leadership.
    I can go on & on but why? Anyone whose been in a position to lead, supervise, or manage people can easily deduce that it’s time for a complete cleaning of the house w/ scrubbing bubbles!”

  6. jstraw

    ‘Oh my God, what I did?’