Today, Carlos Zambrano spoke for the first time about the circumstances of his placement on the disqualified list (i.e., suspension without pay), and about his future with the Cubs. Zambrano was placed on the list this weekend after he left the team on Friday night following an ejection, saying that he was “retiring.”

Zambrano doesn’t sound like he intends on retiring any time soon. In fact, he says he doesn’t want to leave the Cubs.

“The Cubs have been my family,” Zambrano told Dave Kaplan in an exclusive interview. “I want to keep pitching for the Cubs. It was a moment of frustration Friday night and I [felt] so bad that I wanted to quit. I wanted to retire.”

Zambrano says those comments were intended to be private expressions of frustration, and nothing more. He also says that he tried to return to the team on Saturday.

“I was ready to go to the ballpark the next day, but my agent [Barry Praver] called me and said we were in negotiations with the union and the Cubs,” Zambrano said. Praver has said that Zambrano tried to return his things to the Cubs’ clubhouse on Friday night.

Asked what he might say to Cubs fans at this point, Zambrano responded, “I just want to say that I apologize to them for any incidents. I haven’t been pitching for the fans the way I’d expected and I felt bad for that. I want them to understand that I was frustrated.”

Zambrano also said he’s received various messages of support from teammates Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Pena, and Marlon Byrd, as well as Sammy Sosa, Jason Giambi, and Ozzie Guillen.

Although it’s nice to hear Zambrano apologize and attempt to explain his actions, this time it comes with a distinct fool-me-once-shame-on-you-fool-me-a-dozen-times-shame-on-me flavor. It also has a musky of-course-I-don’t-want-to-leave-because-I-want-to-say-all-the-right-things-to-make-sure-I-get-my-money aroma.

If that sounds cynical, it is. And, at this point, Z has only himself to blame for our mistrust.

  • Jeff

    All I heard was “blah, blah, blah, Pay Me”. Go home Carlos, you and Ozzie can join up in Florida next year.

  • MichiganGoat

    I don’t give a shit, bye, thanks for the tantrums it amused me the first dozen times.

  • curt

    i just think enough is enough and if yu really feel that bad for the fans donate part of yr huge checks 2 a kids charity , its just time2 start clearing the unproductive deadwood out off this team, and z is abig one, hey brett is there any stat out there gives yu an idea how many runs are cost 2 a team when a player doesent make a play he should make, and not the error, aramis ramirez has the range of a cement block even when its hit 2 him he fans on may of them im just curious how many runs he costs his pitchers

    • MichiganGoat

      Look here there are plenty of Sabermetrics that try to define what your asking. They all have holes but when you look at ARam’s number you see a fielder that is below an average defensive substitution. In simple terms replacing ARam with Baker or Dewitt would be better for us defensively. His defense is a major reason we should not bring him back next year we already have on DH (Sori) we don’t need two or three if we get Fielder.

  • Nomar’s Left Glove

    Did he say that he stinks?

  • RoughRiider

    “When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.”

  • laura

    enough is enough, grow up ,an go home already u let us down for the last time!!

  • Toosh

    Hell no! Z’ must go!

  • Jeremy

    He may love the Cubs, but the Cubs nation doesn’t love him back.

  • Joyce

    What Z fails to understand is that you can’t keep taking a dump on the spoon that feeds you.

  • Terry

    I was surprised he didn’t try to rip his berries and gentleman sausage off before ejection, as he’s prone to try when frustrated. It’s time he go away.

    • jstraw

      Top Gear fan?

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    Carlos, y u no retire?

    • Hogie

      Ha, ha, ha!

    • Brett

      Just so awesome.

  • BFM

    Who’s surprised?
    This always happens……..Mount Z explodes and he then comes back and asks all the people he spewed molten lava all over in his tirade to forgive him.
    I love watching Z and have supported him in his other fiascos, but this is way over the top and beyond being frustrated.
    I can understand being upset with the manager, umpires or even getting into arguments with your teammates.
    But, how can he apologize for walking out on his teammates?
    You can’t!
    Time to go.

  • MontelleW

    Man oh man do I hate to defend Z on this as I can understand everyone’s sentiment as I feel it too, but he was ejected at that point. He didn’t “Walk off the field” on them (this time). So he hasn’t missed any playing time. The Announcement of the retirement in the clubhouse locker room? Well – I can imagine if those comments were intended to a private audience out of frustration – It’s far easier to forgive him keeping it in the clubhouse out of public view than it is to forgive another bashed in Gatorate machine, or worse yet, another bashed in teammate. That would definitely show an improvement over last year and years past. That being said, I realize he isn’t a good teammate, and his chances of pitching as a cub again are zip. But if we’re to really start cutting the dead weight that hurts the club such as Z, we gotta axe soriano and the GM that gave him the enormous contract Hendry too!

    • MichiganGoat

      He cleaned out his locker and left the ballpark! That’s the issue, it’s like me getting frustrated at work, packing up my desk, and telling my office neighbor that I quit. Then trying to come back the next day and act like it’s all good I just lost my temper and flipped out can I return to work? My boss would laugh especially when last year I got in a fight with a coworker and was sent to anger management. Enough is enough, there is nothing to defend!

    • Jeff

      I’m guessing you haven’t played a lot of team sports. In that type of atmosphere, for a guy to walk out on the team(he left the dugout, clubhouse, and cleaned out his locker), and for it to be a guy who has continually drawn negative attention to himself and started fights with teammates, this is a fatal blow. I can’t imagine this team welcoming him back as things stand now. With the work that all these guys have put in and continue to put it, only for Zambrano to continually act like a selfish clown, this is definitely a change for the better. You absolutely don’t quit on your teammates, not after you have come out and declared how much they stinks to everyone in the world. I don’t care how sorry he is, he should not be welcomed back by the team or the fans. He needs to take his theatrics somewhere else, he hasn’t been the same player or teammate since he got paid, and this is just another stunt to make sure his contract doesn’t get voided. Soriano might not produce at the level of his contract, but I know 100% that he wants to be a Cub and from what other players say of him, he’s an excellent teammate and a clubhouse leader. No where near the cancer that Zambrano has been.

    • MichiganGoat

      Its also bad form (if not in a players contract) that when you are ejected you don’t leave the ballpark until the game ends without the okay of your manager.

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  • hardtop

    Personally, I don’t give a shit what he does with his gear after he’s been ejected. He can hand wash it in a bucket of mayonnaise for all I care. The fact that he got ejected is, of course, disturbing. But we all know he’s a “passionate” guy, that is, everyone except for Quade, whom, by leaving him in, is a contributor to this incident.
    Here’s the thing: he’s been pretty bad in most of his recent starts, but he has had a stretch this year where he was pitching well. I honestly think he’s capable of pitching well again, like at least a quality number 4 type guy. We have him under contract, no one is going to give us anything for him, and we need pitching. We really need pitching! Pitching and a manager is all that separates this club from being a better than 500 team… in my opinion.
    Break it down: we have a 2 in Garza, maybe a poor 3 in Dempster, and if we don’t have Z on the mound next year we’ll have to fill 3 spots in the rotation. we could fill 2 of those with Wells and Cashner: Wells is a number 6 (though almost becoming a passable no. 5 again), and we have absolutely no idea if Cashner can make it more than 1 game at the big league level, nor do we know if he will be any better than Coleman, Davis, or Ortiz… no idea. At best he’s a number 5 pitcher. so, best case, we need an ace and a guy who wins at least 50-55% of his games: Z’s no longer an ace, but he can do the latter, I think he can do that wearing an eye patch and a BN thong…next year and in 2013 (he’s a 63% winner since becoming a full time starter in 03, and that was with some shitty cubs teams). Maybe I’m wrong, but never having a losing *full* season is a pretty good indication that I’m not.
    If he retires, I’m totally cool with that: it’ll save the Cubs lots of money! He is way overpaid for a 3rd or 4th guy in the rotation. We’ll struggle through with what we’ve got this year and next, and use that money to pay a pitcher or 3 down the road. Totally acceptable plan. But, It’s clear he’s got plans for that 20+ mil, and he’s not going anywhere, and I’m okay with that too (other than that Hendry contract is ridiculous)

    • MichiganGoat

      That’s like saying at least with cancer one will lose weight. The Cubs do not need Z’s cancer anymore and finding a .500 pitcher won’t be hard this off season if we know we need one. There is no reason to keep Z around, if he’s here next year will be dealing with another meltdown.

      • hardtop

        ha, thats a good way to put it. i guess i see him as more of a rash than a tumor. but you’re welcome to call him a tumor if you want to.

  • MontelleW

    Hey, I never said that Z should be allowed back. and yes, I have played team sports, and no, I don’t act like Z, nor would I want a teammate like him. I have however in the privacy of my office uttered frustrations on days that I’d never want others to hear. My point was that I do understand frustration, he shouldnt be allowed back, but while we’re cleaning house, lets get rid of the rest of the rubbage!

    • MichiganGoat

      You do see how showing frustration at work and cleaning out your office and telling people you quit are not the same thing?

  • MontelleW

    MichiganGoat, I agree with you. I also agree in not bringing him back. I guess I’m just saying I’m glad he did it inside this time. But to everyone slamming my comments, I beg you to pleaes re-read and tell me where I said we should bring him back? He has got to go. Understood.

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s that fact you tried to defend him and give a rationale for forgiving him that caused this debate.

  • MontelleW

    Michigan Goat: Forgiveness is in my blood. Reinstatement of Z is not.

  • hardtop

    doing a little math on what you guys are suggesting:

    cubs dump soriano. they recoup about 4 million of the 20 mill they owe him, each year, for the next 3 years (+/-)

    cubs dump zambrano they recoup maybe 7 mil.? of the 20 million they owe him from now until the end of his contract.

    that means next year the cubs would pay 2 guys around 29 million dollars to NOT play for them! maybe they get 6 and 8 mil. salary relief respectively: 26 mil is still a whole years worth of prince fielder money going straight out the door.

    If that number doesnt get Hendry fired, i dont know what could

  • MontelleW

    Hendry Fired? I’m willing to live with that LOL