Zambrano Gonna Zambrano and Other Bullets

rothschild watches zambrano angryI love that I jokingly asked in this section yesterday what “Arthur” is, and within minutes I had ten answers of “aardvark, duh” sent to me via various mediums. The Internet, and you fine folks, are awesome.

(Although it was a joke question, I really didn’t know, so thanks! Anyone know where D.B. Cooper hid the money?)

  • It’s a little unclear at first (for non-Spanish speakers, at least), but on replays, you get a clear picture of what happened: Zambrano’s teammate gets plunked, at which Zambrano, in the dugout, takes umbrage. While the batter and pitcher are jawing, Big Z makes a beeline straight for the pitcher, who notices only at the last minute, and both men go toppling to the ground. From there, Z gets up swinging (after being swung at, himself), and he’s swinging – hard – at anyone in his general vicinity. I would not like to receive a pop to the face from a Carlos Zambrano right, whether his shoulder is as strong as it once was or not.  In the end, probably not the best moment for Z if he’s still trying to make his way back to the bigs.
  • Mark Gonzales offers something of a profile on new hitting coach Bill Mueller, who has been meeting with Cubs players and/or reviewing film on them to try and diagnose correctable issues.
  • Jeff Sullivan writes that the biggest thing left to happen this offseason – in terms of changing playoff odds – is a David Price trade. But, in terms of an individual team’s decisions, the biggest left might be whether A.J. Burnett returns to the Pirates. I had no idea how much of a bubble team they project to be without Burnett, and the extra two wins he could provide are enormously important.
  • A study in Greg Maddux’s precise command/control. And a mesmerizing GIF.

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

44 responses to “Zambrano Gonna Zambrano and Other Bullets”

  1. Diehardthefirst

    Mueller has the credibility to get his message thru some thick skulls and being a switch hitter he identifies with L and R issues- However he wants a front office job and this could be his only year as HC assuming he even lasts a full yr

  2. woody

    The guy wears his emotions on his sleeve. I always liked him, it’s too bad he couldn’t get on a proper training and diet regimen an keep the emotional stuff under control. He had a chance to be great one.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Zambrano’s demise had nothing to dow with training or diet. Zambrano never had great control, and he routinely racked up huge pitch counts. All of those pitches over the years simply wreck muscles, tendons and ligaments eventually.

      1. Dustin S

        Minus the temper, this made me realize there are a fair number of parallels between Samardzija and Zambrano. Both have a lot of desire to win, high pitch counts (Samardzija’s improved there, but still), and both with potential for Cy Young years if they put it all together. That ship has likely sailed for Z, and Shark definitely could still elevate his pitching another level or two, but it makes you wonder if in 5 years we won’t be doing that kind of comparison.

        BTW, still around…just first post since the board switchover.

  3. Fastball

    Bring back big X for bullpen coach. We might need him for brawls of our own. Lester is pretty old now he could get hurt.

  4. CubFan Paul

    The Rays owe David Price $18M in 2014. I doubt that’s in the budget.

  5. Cizzle

    My favorite memory of Z was the game where he came out during a brawl and was taking off his belt to beat someone down. He didn’t get suspended and no one made a big deal of it, but damn, that was funny.

    1. Funn Dave

      Hahaha I don’t remember that. Fucking Z, man.

    2. Matt

      I think I remember what you are talking about, during the Derrick Lee and Chris Young brawl. Zambrano had been changing when everything happened, and when he came out of the dugout he was still in the middle of putting his belt on.

  6. Diehardthefirst

    Will he wear a Cubs hat when indicted into Venezuela HOF?

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      They must things differently in Venezuela to be indicted. Surprised you didn’t say we needed him as our pitching coach for belly fire.

      1. Diehardthefirst

        Wearing the hat in mug shot and official HOF photo

  7. Medicos

    I worked as an usher at the Friendly Confines for many years and my favorite memory of Big Z occurred prior to a Memorial Day game in 2009. Hours before every home game, the ushers have a meeting in the left field stands while the Cubs are taking fielding practice. At the meeting, the names of all the women and men who served in our country’s military were announced over the loudspeaker and their names were posted on the scoreboard. Carlos Zambrano was the only Cub player who stood at attention during the ceremony, took off his Cub hat and saluted each of the former military personnel. VERY CLASSY BEHAVIOR!!!

    1. Jason P

      I never thought Zambrano was a bad guy, just kind of psychotic. Too much temper.

  8. FortyFour

    Typical Zambrano doing whatever feels good to him regardless of how it impacts the team. While he did this crap several times as a Cub, his low point was when he purposely tried to hit Chipper Jones, which was his last pitch as a Cub. I urge Cub fans to stop wearing his jersey when attending Cub games.

    1. blublud

      If you don’t like Z, fine. But let the people who like him, like him.

    2. N.J. Riv

      But you can get them basically for free on clearance racks.

  9. Professional High A

    Love the line at the end of the article about Maddux’s command, “In 1995, Maddux walked 23 guys in 28 starts. Three of those were intentional. In truth, I suspect that every Greg Maddux walk was intentional. I can’t think of any other explanation.”

  10. blewett

    Just ask Michael Barrett what it feels like to get punched in the face by Zambrano.

  11. blublud

    I don’t see what was so bad about what Z did there. First off, the pitcher hit his player for whatever reason and Z should have taken him out. Second, Z never swung at the pitcher, the pitcher (and rightfully so. I’m not one sided) looks like he elbowed Z in the face and they both fell. Z was then swung at while on the ground and got up trying to swing at the guy who swung at him and anybody else who might come his way. Once he got up, it appeared to me, that he was at that point in more of a defensive mode than an aggressor mode incase someone came at him.

    That trade the Cubs made with Miami was laughable. The only trade I think that this FO made that was dumb. If Z had to go, fine. I would rather had released him than traded for a guy I hated(he played minor league in my home town) before he was a Cub, and even more after he became a Cub. CHRIS FREAKING VOLSTAD. I like Zambrano and while he did some bad things in Chicago, would always myself welcome him back to the Cubs. If he can produce, that is. Right now, that’s a huge if.

    1. BWA

      I mean Volstad really sucked, but other than that he didn’t do anything hate worthy. I don’t hate Zambrano, but I certainly get why some people do.

  12. brainiac

    i always loved big z and i think most of the negative attention sent to him from the tribute was unfounded, and probably biased. if you look at his lifetime stat lines he declined quickly, no doubt, but the guy was a clear #1 starter until his past two years. he won a lot of great games, brought a lot of positive energy (until he didn’t), and ate a ton of innings without an injury. a great cub.

    1. brainiac

      *tribune, not tribute. that was an autocorrect error.

  13. GoCubsGo

    My buddy told me that Zambrano had a better Era than Wood in 2003 and I had absolutely forgot that. He melted down in the playoffs of course, but still, that’s crazy. And his 2004 was just fantastic.

    Does his temper earn him the juicer stereotype or is he just bat spit crazy?

  14. Funn Dave

    You’ve never seen Arthur? And you have kids? That’s borderline child abuse right there. I’m calling protective services.

  15. Funn Dave

    Also, great picture.

  16. cubfanincardinalland

    Randy Wells told me that Zambrano was one of his all time favorite teammates. Always having fun, always had your back, always supportive. Just when he gets mad, get out of the way!

    1. cubs2003

      I could see that. He seems like a personable, fun dude with a bad temper. I’ve known a few of those. The Barrett situation was ugly, but I think the DLee one sealed his fate. From everything I’ve read, DLee was about the best teammate you could ask for.

  17. 26.2CubsFan

    Well, if he can turn Barney around, then I guess that’s good for whichever Japanese team he ends up playing for.

    My hope is that Mueller works with the ML club and with some of the guys who are going to get a taste of the big league club this summer or September. It’s nice to have a Cubs Way, but each hitter is unique and has different weak spots in their swing or approach. The ability to form relationships with the ML hitting coach now so they get a familiar message when they come up could be very helpful with the adjustment.

  18. JM

    On the video at 1:44, watch the player on the right get out of the way. Funny.

  19. FortyFour

    Sorry but I can’t overlook all of his drama just because he pitched well at times. BTW – he never won a playoff game, going 0-2 in 5 games for a 4.34 ERA. That is NOT #1 stuff when it counts the most.

    1. Brocktoon

      Sigh.

  20. Diehardthefirst

    That photo of Rothschild with Zambrano can be photoshopped to be with Tanaka and Yankees in 3 yrs

  21. FortyFour

    I don’t know about Tanaka’s composure but there are some similarities between him and Zambrano. Each pitched a significant amount by the age of 25, Both received substantial paydays around the same age, and each one has(d) Rothchild as their pitching coach. Big Z pitched just one season of 200+ innings (2007) after signing his big contract. We’ll see what Tanaka is able to do as a Yankee under Rothchild.

    1. ClevelandCubsFan

      Tanaka has way more innings pitched than Big Z at the same age.

      1. JadeBos

        Not really, 1200 for Z if you count the minors and 1300 For Tanaka.

        1. ClevelandCubsFan

          You’re right but your numbers are skewed. Z’s minor leagues go back to his age 17 season. Tanaka has been a pro since 19. If you take Tanaka back to 17, it’s an even larger difference. More, take both of them back to 15 and compare. Tanaka has thrown considerably more pitches through his age 24 season than Z had.

          1. JadeBos

            OK from 18-25 they pitched 1150 & 1300 innings. Z’s birthday is June 1 Also Z pitched in winter leagues. Maybe Tanaka did the same? I dunno?

            I’m not sure what your point is? Tanaka has more mileage on his arm? Will he break down sooner. Z wore down but was fairly effective until his last year with the Cubs.

            I think Tanaka is gonna struggle with the length of the season (6 more starts) and pressure in NYC. Just playing for the Yankees alone, crushes some guys. Let alone living in new country. The added crazy Japanese media pressure. HIs wife trying to have a career.

            Combine that with a guy who has thrown a lot an deep 53 CG’s and 160 pitch counts?!! I’d be surprised if he doesn’t break down.

            1. Funn Dave

              Every MLB player faces crazy pressure. Often, the ones who receive the most pressure are the ones who rise to the occasion.

  22. Ballgame17

    D.B. Cooper only burned his half, but he burned it just for a little extra time for himself”….awesome pic of Z by the way!

  23. Diehardthefirst

    Nothing is set in granite – if there is a way to make money MLB will force Cubs to move rather than deal with this slow moving train wreck of Rooftoppers renovation and revenuers

  24. Funn Dave

    Garza in Milwaukee’s official.

    1. Funn Dave

      As if we didn’t have a tough enough with which to deal.

  25. Diehardthefirst

    Seattle kicking Bakers tires?

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