Carlos Zambrano walked out on his Chicago Cubs teammates this weekend.
Or, as Northsiders call it, just another summer in Wrigleyville.
After allowing five Atlanta Braves home runs Friday, the enigmatic pitcher threw inside on Chipper Jones – not once, but twice – and was ejected from the game. He proceeded to clean out his locker and announce his retirement.
Sure, Zambrano’s agent denounced the declaration, telling ESPN’s Buster Olney his client is “definitely” not retiring.
But for sanity’s sake, it’s time to retire Zambrano as a Cub. This comedy of errors has run its course.
“He’s made his bed; he’s got to sleep in it,” pitcher Ryan Dempster said. “For us, we’ll just go out there and give our best tonight and move forward. The faster you move forward, the faster things get better.”
The Cubs organisation stuck with Zambrano and his fiery personality despite each incident, but this could be the final straw.
They announced Zambrano would be placed on the disqualified list for 30 days without pay. The players association has since filed a grievance on his behalf. Either way, the consensus around baseball is fans have seen the last of Zambrano in the blue pinstripes.
The question left for the Cubs is what to do next. The club still owes Zambrano $23.5 million through 2012 and will be hard-pressed finding another team willing to take on even a portion of his salary.
Zambrano has talent. Which is why he’ll land somewhere. But he also has a bad attitude. Which is why Cubs fans have most likely seen the last of “Big Z.”