Obsessive Zambrano Watch: The Fourth Bullets

The news about Carlos Zambrano just keeps rolling in…

  • Remember how Zambrano’s agent said Carlos returned his things to his locker Friday night after the game, and tried to take back his retirement comments? Remember how I said Z’s agent had an interest in saying such things? Yeah, the Cubs were suspicious, too. And they dispute the story, with some players laughing at the idea of Z returning to bring his stuff back. I’ve read various suggestions that what actually happened is Z asked one of his associates to return the stuff around midnight, but the Cubs wouldn’t allow it.
  • The next step is a grievance, which will be filed today either by Zambrano or the Players’ Association, or both. From there, the Cubs and the MLBPA will gather their evidence, prepare their arguments, and will have a hearing to determine (a) whether the Cubs’ placement of Zambrano on the disqualified list was merited (30 days, no pay, which would save the Cubs some $3 million), and (b) whether Zambrano in fact retired and the Cubs in fact accepted that retirement. No one has confirmed that part b will be a part of the fight, mind you. That’s just my reading of the press release.
  • One piece of evidence the Cubs will use for both issues? Zambrano sent text messages to, and left voicemails for, team personnel saying “thanks” and “goodbye.” Lawyer spin: this came long after Zambrano had stormed out of the clubhouse saying he was going to retire, which suggests that, after having time to cool down, Zambrano was still telling the Cubs he wanted to retire.
  • Bruce Levine says, whatever happens, the consensus around the team is that Zambrano will never pitch for the Cubs again.
  • Alfonso Soriano confirmed that he expressed his anger with Zambrano after the pitcher was ejected. “We are human. We are not machines. He had a bad day, but you’re not supposed to hit some guy because they hit [home runs off] you,’’ Soriano said. ‘‘Now you put [your] hitters in a tough position because maybe sooner or later they want to hit one of us. That’s what I said to him. And I’m surprised they haven’t hit nobody yet.”
  • Mike Quade says he thought he had a fine relationship with Zambrano. “I probably never sat back and analyzed that,” Quade said. “I thought it was good as it could be. His decisions, and what has taken place here recently, I didn’t take personally. I don’t think it had anything to do with our relationship.”
  • Quade also says he doesn’t believe he left Zambrano in too long in Friday night’s pivotal fifth inning, which culminated in Zambrano’s ejection for twice throwing at Chipper Jones. “We needed to try like heck to get five innings out of him,” Quade said. “Letting him get hit in the top of the fifth was not about leaving somebody out there to get pounded. First of all, you can hit and help this thing. Second of all, find a way to get through the fifth. If you do, maybe even get through the sixth.”

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

36 responses to “Obsessive Zambrano Watch: The Fourth Bullets”

  1. EQ


  2. CubsFanatic

    Goodbye Quade, Hendry, Zambrano, and Soriano. We hardly liked ye.

    1. Brad from Cubs Stats

      The tragedy is: Only one of them is probably gone next year.

  3. Ron

    Q’s comment just proves his head is stuck in the score keepers book, or somewhere else less pleasant, instead of watching the game. I hate having to continually make this point. But the guy is an idiot.

  4. Serio

    I know what you can do with the 5th bullet

    1. Deez

      Shoot yourself.

  5. alek

    Wow.. Quade didnt think he left Z in too long after he watched him give up like 5 homers and 8 runs???

    1. Diego

      I know! most of the time I don’t even know whats on that guy’s mind. What was he thinkin’?!

  6. CubFan Paul

    ”Second of all, find a way to get through the fifth. If you do, maybe even get through the sixth.”

    the 6th?? Really?? i dont understand him sometimes

    ..and Soriano is probably Hendry’s & Ricketts best friend, since he was the guy who chewed Big Z out, to the point of him packing his shit & retiring ..errrr leaving

    1. MichiganGoat

      I must say Sori has increased his value by publicly stating his actions. He may have a declining bat and poor defense but this really increases his leadership/character value. Maybe this will help a team decide to trade for him.

      1. CubFan Paul

        maybe the Cubs will save money on this (if the voluntary retirement rules haven’t changed since 1972)


        Joe Pepitone did the same thing in ’72

        1. RoughRiider

          So did Sandberg in 1994. Better reason though.

      2. Ian Afterbirth

        It is nice to hear Soriano actually say something of relative substance.
        No I’m not being sarcastic.

        1. MichiganGoat

          I was completely shocked with myself when I was impressed with him, I’m still cautious we could be in Bizarro world.

      3. Deez

        All of that for only $18M a year!
        The buyers are lining up!

  7. William

    All doubt has been removed.

  8. Ian Afterbirth

    This is reminding me of my divorce.

    1. MichiganGoat

      I agree it is eerily similar to my divorce. Now it just needs a custody battle to be complete.

  9. Ian Afterbirth

    And would all this hoo-ha have been avoided had Q taken Z out earlier?
    I suppose it necessarily would have been avoided, making it (the non-move) a pivotal point in Cubs history (and quite likely several people’s careers).

    Kinda mind-blowing…..

  10. MichiganGoat

    I probably never sat back and analyzed that

    Isn’t part of a manager’s job to analyze both on and off field issues and deal with them before they become problem? I know some believe this is nitpicking, but when his quotes are looked at as a collective it’s impossible not to see a manager who has no relationship with his player, no understanding of the problems, and no clue how to respond to the media without sounding foolish. He has continually made these bonehead comments and when combined with his on-field decisions and the overall product of the team the conclusion is simple– he is not able to manage a major league team, he must go. It wouldn’t surprise me if Hendry was planning on firing him to show Ricketts he deserves to stick around, but this winning streak prevents that from happening.

    1. Brad from Cubs Stats

      If weak little late-season winning streaks keep saving people’s jobs, then the Cubs are truly a hopeless and lost organization.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Agree, hopefully last year doesn’t repeat itself, but I’m having doubts.

  11. Fishin Phil

    Interesting read here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/michael_mccann/08/15/carlos.zambrano/

    I’d be interested to hear Brett’s thoughts on these arguments.