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Carlos Zambrano was a hugely important part of the Chicago Cubs for a decade. That’s why it’s unsurprising that he received a disproportionate amount of the attention as the Marlins made their way to Wrigley Field this week, despite the fact that Zambrano isn’t starting in the series.

So, with microphones aplenty in his face, Zambrano offered a number of thoughts about his departure from, and time with, his former team.

  • On the fans and the messy divorce: “I still love these fans. Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience and anything that I did. The only thing that I wanted to do in Chicago is win, and I really apologize to the Cubs fans and the people here who treated me good. They deserve an apology.” I’m not sure “inconvenience” is the right word, but the message was received.
  • On seeing fans now that he’s a member of the Marlins: “They said, ‘Too bad you left. We miss you, Z. A lot of people. And I appreciate that from the fans. There’s some people there that still don’t like me, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
  • On not pitching in this series: “To be honest, I didn’t want to pitch here. Not this year. I just didn’t want to pitch here. The time will come that I can come back here.” I would’ve liked to have seen it, but I can understand Zambrano’s concerns (and, at the same time, I’m sure I don’t entirely understand – it’s probably hard for him for a number of reasons).
  • On his former teammates and the reason for his departure from the Cubs: “I think they treat me with respect, professionally, and every time I see them, I hug them or I say hi to them. There’s no hard feelings, believe me. The problem wasn’t with them. The problem was not with the Cubs. The problem was Carlos Zambrano. That’s why Carlos Zambrano is now with the Miami Marlins. If you have to blame somebody, blame me. Things didn’t work out the last three years because of me. That’s all I can say. I am responsible for my acts.”
  • On his on-field struggles in the last couple years: “When I was here, I put too much pressure on myself trying to do too much. I know I have to play [better], and I did not do that in the last two years. I have to say out of 10 and a half years in Chicago, eight and a half were good. The last two, I was frustrated and out of control, but that is in the past.”
  • On playing for Ozzie Guillen: “It’s fun. He says all kind of things that make me laugh. He’s very relaxed. He’s very enjoyable. He is very professional. He’s straight [with me]. I like people that say things to you in front of you. I don’t like people that say something to you and stab you in the back.”
  • Edwin

    Very nice coverage Brett.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks. I like the write-ups that the journos do after these interview sessions, but, for me, I mostly just want to see all the quotes together in one place.

  • JasonB

    Well, at least he’s right about one thing – Carlos Zambrano’s biggest problem was always Carlis Zambrano.

    I still don’t miss him one bit

    • andrew

      Ahh yes his alterego Carlis always messed stuff up.

  • ETS

    Ozzie Guillen is professional?

    • Jack Weiland

      Ozzie Guillen is straight?

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Ozzie is calm?

  • Steve

    Sometimes, super talented / competitive people let that aspect of their life take over. Not winning was his downfall.
    Hate him if you want. I say he is colorful, energetic, and sometimes erratic.
    If the Cubs had won more while he was here, you probably wouldn’t have seen the side of Carols that you did.

    • Wilbur

      Steve, think you nailed it. My one comment would be Z would have still acted the same. His inner demons would have still been there.

      My simple analogy is the guy on the golf course who is a really good golfer, drives the ball well all day, and when he hooks one shoot out of bounds starts screaming and caring on. If you play golf with him you can’t pick the moment, but you know the temper tantrum is coming. …

    • Boogens

      “If the Cubs had won more while he was here…”

      I have to call shennanigans on that one. Tell me the last time Carlos had one of his fits when he wasn’t the pitcher of record. He didn’t throw his hissy fits in support of others or the Cubs just winning in general. He threw his fits when things didn’t go the way he wanted when he was pitching, like his meltdowns in Atlanta, the Cell, Wrigley, etc. Maybe he has himself under better control now but when he was a Cub he was a big baby on the mound.

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      I got so tired of seeing him groove a pitch (or two or three) and give up a killer hit/homer, then strike out the last guy of the inning and pound his friggin’ chest as he charged, mouth frothing, off the mound.
      Then, after the game, he’d pout or shout, and say his downfall was because he’s “competitive”.

      If that’s “colorful”, give me drab and professional.

      Don’t even get me started on his clubhouse metastasis.

      • Boogens

        Nice call. I couldn’t agree more.

      • theNOOGE

        Pounding chest? Shouting? Sounds like Marmol when he gets a DP after walking the bases loaded.

  • Cerambam

    RUMORS RUMORS RUMORS I WANT THE LUKE WARM STOVE PLEASEEEEEE

    • PJ

      I agree! Can’t wait for the trading to start. But in while we wait, let’s hear the latest gossip.

      • Mick

        The latest I’ve seen is on mlbtraderumors.com:

        Arizona GM Kevin Towers told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he expects a “lightning round” of trades during the 48-hour period leading up to the July 31st trade deadline. “That’s when things really are going to pick up,” Towers predicts. Until then, here are Nightengale’s latest rumors:

        •The Dodgers are the leaders for Ryan Dempster, a Cubs official told Nightengale (latest Dempster rumors here).
        •Meanwhile, the Rangers and Tigers would love to trade for Matt Garza.

        It’s interesting to hear the Rangers linked with Garza, I hadn’t heard their name for a while. But let me guess Profar, Perez, and Olt are untouchable. If we could get Perez and Olt for Garza or even just Olt and a couple throw-ins that would be the blockbuster deal.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Come on, guys. Do you really think I’d leave you hanging?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Just great, now he takes some personal responsibility for himself.

  • Patrick W.

    I like Zambrano. I feel like I understand him. I admire this statement. You can only take a man for what he puts in front of you, and these words feel sincere to me.

    • ETS

      Zambrano is that child. He constantly makes the same mistakes then apologizes and admits it’s his fault. I’m just waiting for the tension at Miami to pick up and suddenly all of them will sour on big Z as well.

    • JasonB

      The statement was largely him pandering to a fan base because he knows what they want to hear. How often did he say similar crap to this and then do something stupid on the field two days later.

      Acting like an a– doesn’t make you super competitive, it makes you a child. A true competitor knows how to win and l

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      Words are useful for an appearance of contrition.
      Actions are what counts though.
      Remember all his destructive actions, on and off the field, and weigh them versus his conveniently chosen words.

      I am SO GLAD he is not a Cub. Yes, he now admits that he’s the one who caused the damage, but admitting it doesn’t undo how he harmed this franchise.
      I hope he calms his demons, but what’s done is done. Good riddance.

  • JasonB

    * lose with dignity.

    That’s what I wanted the end to say

  • Deez

    As crazy as he acted & his shenanigans, I personally think he cared that much!

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