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.