On Monday, the Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano, still on the disqualified list pending the hearing of a grievance filed on his behalf by the MLB Players’ Association, granted an exclusive interview to CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan. In it, he apologized for walking out on the team and said he didn’t mean to throw at Chipper Jones on Friday night. When asked if he wanted to stay a Cub, he replied:
Of course. The Cubs have been to me like my family. They’re my family. The organization is like family. I’ve seen people go and people come, you know I still there. It’s like if my father say I dont want nothing to do with you I think that would never happen. He’s my family. I want to keep pitching for the Cubs. [It was a] moment of frustration Friday night. I feel so bad that I want to retire. I don’t want to be making $18 million and be pitching like crap.
It could be said that you don’t walk out on your family, just as you shouldn’t walk out on your teammates. Zambrano claimed the two pitches that got him ejected were “cutters”. Still, Zambrano’s behavior cannot be seen in a vacuum — he has had several meltdowns over the past four years, including one in 2010 that put him on the restricted list and got him anger-management counseling.
Cubs management appears fed up to the point that Zambrano is not wanted any more; perhaps the best-case scenario for both parties would be a negotiated settlement of the year-plus remaining on his deal for an amount more than zero, but less than the (approximately) $20 million remaining due him; he’d then be allowed to leave as a free agent.