Cubs Carlos Zambrano Gets 30 Day ‘Vacation’

The emotional pitcher takes it one step to far.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Sports is an emotional roller-coaster, period. It doesn't matter if you're playing or watching, if you want to be there you're going to go through a huge range of emotions. Joy, excitement, despair, heartbreak and anger are all there for the average athlete, and fan, on any given event. For the Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, however, anger has always been his emotion of choice and he isn't afraid to use it.

Unfortunately, like with what happened Friday against the Atlanta Braves, anger isn't always the best emotion to fall back on.

On Friday night, Zambrano took the mound against the Braves and was just shellacked. He gave up five home runs to Atlanta and was ejected during the game for throwing inside repeatedly to Chipper Jones. After the game, Zambrano cleaned out his locker and told trainers and clubhouse people during the game that he was "retiring."

This action, seen as severely detrimental to his team, caused the Cubs organization to respond by placing Zambrano on the disqualified list, meaning he will go 30 days without pay and without contact with his team. The Cubs announced this Saturday.

"His actions last night were totally intolerable," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "This was the most stringent penalty we could enforce without a release."

"His actions last night are very detrimental to his teammates," Hendry said. "There's not much worse than running out on your teammates and announcing your retirement."

Zambrano's agent, Barry Praver, told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that the Cubs were told within two hours after Friday's game that Zambrano "definitely" wasn't retiring. Praver also said Zambrano made private emotional remarks to club staff and returned his things to his locker late Friday night.

This incident isn't the first time Zambrano has gotten in trouble with the Cubs. On June 4th, he bashed teammates in St. Louis, calling them "Triple-A players" after the team lost a 10-inning game on an Albert Pujols walk-off home run. He apologized the following day.

Last year, on June 25, Zambrano had a dugout blowup with then-Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee at US Cellular field. Zambrano was suspended for two days before being placed on baseball's restricted list for six weeks.

Zambrano's actions have seemed to not only hurt his wallet but also his relationship with teammates as they are honestly indifferent to his suspension and possible return.

"He's made his bed. Let him sleep in it," Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster said.

"It's not like it's something new."


Photo credit – AP