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.”