The tale of Carlos Zambrano took another strange turn on Friday night as a rough outing turned into an ejection and, perhaps, retirement.
Zambrano was roughed-up in 4-1/3 innings, and giving up back-to-back home runs appeared to push him over the edge. After the Chicago Cubs right-hander was taken deep by Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla, something seemed to snap, and he threw at Chipper Jones twice before being ejected and calmly walking off the field.
And while the action on the field was odd, what happened off it is over-the-top bizarre. According to reports, Zambrano cleaned out his locker, told a few people he was retiring and headed on his way.
This is not the first time Zambrano has mentioned retirement, but in the past it always seemed like a bit of a joke or his response to questions from reporters. This time around, he left the locker room before anyone even noticed. He reportedly told a Cubs' trainer that he was "retired" and just left with all his belongings (Chicago Tribune via Twitter).
After a rough outing that saw Zambrano give up eight runs, it could just be emotion talking. In the heat of the moment, after giving up five home runs during an awful night, Zambrano's actions certainly should not be taken as definitive. Instead, we'll see what he has to say after sleeping off his bizarre evening and thinking twice about giving up the game.
If Zambrano does retire, he will forfeit the remaining money on his contract, including $18 million in 2012.