Blog Entry

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 1:28 pm

By Matt Snyder

Carlos Zambrano has long been one of the most mercurial players in the bigs. We've all seen his meltdowns and heard his excuses afterward. This past summer, when he skipped out on his teammates and uttered some words about retirement, he was placed on the restricted list by the Cubs. The thought was that he'd never play for the Cubs again, but that's now looking like a possibility.

Zambrano recently told reporters he is -- for what, the seventh time? -- a new man. From
"I'm preparing like when I was a rookie, climbing mountains, running on the beach, and exercising hard so that I can arrive at Spring Training in optimal shape," he said, as relayed by Joiner Martinez at Líder en Deportes. "I want to stay in Chicago for the two seasons I still have with the team. I'm not a coward who would take the back door out of the majors."
Climbing mountains and running on the beach ... uh, has he been watching the Rocky movies as inspiration? I wonder what name he yells when he gets to the top of the mountain? Maybe Michael Barrett's.

And I'm not quite sure "coward" is the right choice of words there. Only a complete and utter fool would leave the $19 million on the table Zambrano is owed in 2012. The cowardly act would have been to storm out of the locker room and leave his teammates hanging. Oh, wait ...

Zambrano Saga
For stretches, when Zambrano could remain healthy and sane, he produced as a frontline starting pitcher. He's a three-time All-Star who finished exactly fifth three times in NL Cy Young voting. After anger management sessions midseason in 2010, he closed the season in lights-out fashion, going 8-0 with a 1.24 ERA. But then Bad Z showed his face again in 2011 and it looked like the Cubs had seen enough. Then-general manager Jim Hendry basically kicked Zambrano off the team.

The problem, of course, is that Hendry also inked Zambrano to a huge contract -- five years, $91.5 million -- that began before the 2008 season. The second season Zambrano mentioned in the above quote, where he said he wants to stay in Chicago for two seasons? Good luck with that. There's a vesting option for 2013 that is guaranteed if Zambrano finishes in the top four of Cy Young voting this coming season.

It does seem that he'll at least get his chance, though. New Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer are giving every indication Zambrano is allowed back as long as he's on his best behavior. History indicates that won't last very long, but there's no reason to not give him a fresh start for a fresh administration, considering that untradeable contract.

One thing is for sure, the conclusion of Zambrano's time in Chicago is not going to be boring.

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Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:22 am

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

It was actually Pauly's meat...

Since: Dec 25, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:00 pm

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Wasnt Rocky also beating his meat???

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:21 am

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Big Z is the forgotten part of the Cubs for 2012. As a Cubs lifelong fan and optimist, I hope he comes around. He can be that dominant pitcher. I feel he is a misunderstood player. I see the bright side of him. He is a terific competitor who wants to win so badly that his emotions take over. Big Z, if you read this post, come back and be the best you can be! I am behind you all the way.

Since: Jun 14, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:48 pm

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Ozzie Guillen in Miami wants him, let him have the headaches between Big Z and Hanley, it could be rather entertaining to see a Z meltdown with Hanley quitting and getting himself knocked out by Z on the field in the middle of the game.

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 6:22 pm

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Zambrano is a stupid jerk and should be banned from MLB for all the chidish things he has done.

Since: Jun 21, 2010
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:18 pm

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Contact or not, if I am the Cubs I want no part of this guy.  Being a pitcher, you need to have control and be in control.  This is difficult for Zambrano since he is not in control of himself. The lack of anger management, the embarassment he brings and brought to the Cubs is apalling. Theo wants to build a winner in the Cubs.  He needs players who know how to win and lead.  Zambrano is neither and divides the clubhouse.  How Zambrano expects to play professional baseball ( pitching is a control position ) and be successful is beyond me. 

Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 3:42 am

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

Big Zzzzzz says he'll show up in shape? Right. Just remember, fellow Cubby lovers, "round" and "pear" are also shapes. 

Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:21 am

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

this Ahole dont have the stuff that he used to have. But it wouldnt surprise if the dude is still crafty enough to put up decent numbers this year.  Pick up another small contract to ride out the last few years he physically has left.  Who knows want kind of BS this dude will pull after this year.  Theo has his hands tied.  If you must pay him it may or may not be worth the risk to have this guy around the rebuilding process.  I say it isnt worth it.  You will have to pay him and your not going to make the Playoffs this year anyways...  Whats he going to do.  Put fans in the seats lol his glory days are long gone

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:59 pm

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

I will take the under. I am guessing he will implode about Jue 1st or thereabouts. LOL! Then again, it may be during Spring Training. We will have to wait and see, sadly.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 2:44 pm

Zambrano climbing mountains, running on beaches

I'm a Cubs fan and Big Z screws me every year in fantasy. I will probably draft him again next year so he can do the same thing all over again. 

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