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Carlos Zambrano says he’s retired after giving up five homers

Aug 12, 2011, 11:21 PM EDT

Carlos Zambrano AP

This has to be it for the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano.  If the right-hander is to be believed, this is it for him period.

After giving up a career-high five homers and getting ejected for throwing at the Braves’ Chipper Jones, Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker and told a Cubs trainer he was retiring, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“He didn’t have it tonight,” manager Mike Quade said. “I’m really disappointed. His locker is empty. I don’t know where he’s at. He walked out on 24 guys that are battling their (butts) off for him. I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. I heard he’s retired, or talking about retiring.”

If Zambrano walked away, he’d forfeit the remainder of his $17.875 million salary for this year and his entire $18 million salary in 2012.  That’s a lot to give up, but Zambrano almost certainly cost himself some cash tonight no matter what he does now.  The Cubs would seem to be well within their rights to suspend him indefinitely for his actions.

Zambrano’s loss tonight dropped him to 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA this season.  The 30-year-old is 125-81 with a 3.60 ERA in 11 seasons, all of them coming with the Cubs.

For more quotes from Quade, check out the video at CSN Chicago.

  1. shawnuel - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:25 PM


  2. rickditka - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    he’ll pull a Costanza and show up tomorrow.

    • bobulated - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:51 PM

      I’m sure the Cubs are keeping their fingers crossed he doesn’t; they would love for him to retire and give them back 36 million for payroll.

    • hoopmatch - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:34 AM

      Actually, Constanza hit one of the five home runs off Zambrano.

  3. a125125125 - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    “I’ve learned from experience that being hated by fans and being completely incompetent are not good reasons to retire.”
    –Mike Quade’s advice to Carlos

    • bobulated - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:52 PM

      But in Quade’s defense, while incompetent and hated, he’s not a complete a-wipe like Big Z so at least he has that going for him.

    • hittfamily - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM

      Is this a real quote? Did he really say Carlos was incompetent, or is that a satifical quote? If it’s real F#@#ing awesome!

  4. hittfamily - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Well, Mike Quade now qualifies for manager of the year. If he can make Soriano give up the rest of his contract, he’s a shue in.

    • cur68 - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:07 AM

      Er…do you mean Elizabeth Shue, the actress? Quade will start stunt doubling for her? I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop…

      • hittfamily - Aug 13, 2011 at 3:56 AM


        Are you trying to kill me? It was an awseome comment!!! 17 ups, none down. Why are you hating bro. I take pride in shooting from the hip. I say things like ” Casey Kotchmann might be better than than Justin Morneau”. Or “Josh Beckett is the most overrated player in baseball”

        Eventually, people provide facts to prove me wrong… Fine, I enjoy the debate. But you are going after me for spelling???? Weak Bro. Weak.

        I thought my my spelling was right. Shoe in? No. Others need to contribute and prove me wrong. Truth be told, I have never spoken nor typed that sentence. I thought it was shue in, not shoe in. If I’m wrong, thatnks for raining on my parade (sarcasm intended)

      • Ari Collins - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM

        Calm down, dude. He just made fun of your misspelling. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

      • cur68 - Aug 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM


        Can’t help myself man. Up late reviewing an edited manuscript of mine. Getting creamed for anthropomorphizing and I spelled he french word for moon (lune) “loon”. Trust me hitt’, when your thesis supervisor edits it is with the blunt sword of scorn. What I wouldn’t give for an actress (a rather cute one, back in the day) to be referred to instead of the trenchant comment “There is but one ‘loon’ here, sir, and it is you”. Could have been worse is what I’m saying. Besides when is Elizabeth Shue gonna get referred to again on HBT? She needs the work.

      • dlevalley - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        Any opportunity think of Elizabeth Shue is a good one…

      • wlschneider09 - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        Besides, it’s actually a “shoo in”, not a shoe in.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:48 AM

      It’s a “shoe in” as in he has a “shoe in the door”.

      • fearlessleader - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Nope…..”shoo-in,” though “shoe-in” is a common error.

        (As in: “Lately the Brewers have been looking like a shoo-in for the NL Central crown, but that’s all going to change with the signing of Arthur Rhodes! Booyah!”)

  5. kingdavid56 - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    I love the Cubs but Z has been way to
    Much trouble for what the Cubs get out of him. He gets paid like a number 1 but has not proved to be at that level in the last couple of years.

  6. Walk - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    After that last pitch sailed by chipper, big z couldnt even hit him on purpose, one of the braves announcers said something to effect that chickens are good for chicken salad and one other thing and big z was the other.

    • hittfamily - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:48 AM

      I’m gonna get thumbs downed a lot for this, but I’m ready for it.

      He didn’t try to hit him. He tried to throw at him, but not at him. I know, that makes no sense. Overhand pitchers don’t miss left to right with a 4 seamer. He might be off 3 inches left or right, but a major leaguer will virtually always be in that 6 inch window. They miss up and down, because that is based on release points. Left to right is arm slot and landing point, and both were the same as always. He got to the frustration point where he was so frustrated, he just let it fly. If it hit him, it hit him. If not, the frustration has somewhat been released.

      • killabri - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:15 AM

        Your reasoning would be fine if Carlos had not snapped off a perfect low and inside slider for a strike on the first pitch of the at bat. Are you going to tell me that he goes from that to nearly castrating Chipper Jones on consecutive pitches? I don’t know what snapped in his warped brain, but clearly something did. I’d even be willing to allow the first inside pitch. The 2nd consecutively? That’s intentional. And it’s not like Chipper was crowding the plate either. He tried to hit him and failed on 2 straight occasions. Nobody knows except Carlos why he did that, but he did. Put plainly… a pitcher as talented as Carlos Zambrano does not miss that badly inside unless he wants to. Period.

        Speaking to your point. If Carlos’ control is as good as I mention above, how could he not have hit him? Well, you mention he was so frustrated he just let it fly. I think there’s something to that. He may very well have gotten so annoyed and frustrated he just literally let it go inside and saw what happens. Chipper’s reactions would speak to that. However, I still think that he meant to hit Chipper and so did his Cubs teammates. They’ve seen enough of Carlos Zambrano to know when he’s trying to pull something like this. Aramis Ramirez said something that the Braves “didn’t deserve that” so it’s clear he believed Carlos was throwing at Chipper intentionally out of rage.

        In terms of the retirement issue, every Cubs fan I know tonight is doing tribal dances to help ensure he does just that.

      • hittfamily - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:59 AM

        I’m not going to try to dissect Zambrano’s thinking process, nor will I condone it. However, I stick to my guns: If he wanted Chipper doubled over in pain, Chipper would be. I was a pitcher, and I have been where zambrano was. I’m not going to pull the Bobby Bowden and Say “you’ve never been a football coach, so what do you know”. That idea has always pissed me off more than anything else. As if I don’t know a bad haircut because I’m not a barber, or a bad doughnut because I’m not Joe Blanton (yeah..what up phiily fans) However, I will say this: There are times when you are staring at the catchers glove the entire time, but intentionally miss left. I never threw at a batter, but I have missed the target intentionally. If it goes down the middle…fine….inside…fine….behind hime…fine….middle of his back….great.

        It is chicken shit, but natural. Everytime you see a batter throw a helmet after an out, throw a bat etc., it is the same thing. Nobody is in harms way fortunately when they do it.

      • hittfamily - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:09 AM

        “Your reasoning would be fine if Carlos had not snapped off a perfect low and inside slider for a strike on the first pitch of the at bat”

        Sorry….forgot that part, and it is crucial to my reasoning. If you are just fed up and want to hit someone, you do it on the first pitch. If you want to hit someone, and stay in the game, you throw a ball, then hit him. An 0-1 count is not the time to hit someone intentionally. It is the time to pull it a little left, like I spoke of before.

      • killabri - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:17 AM

        First of all, hit, you get points for running a Bobby Bowden joke out there. As a UF grad, I appreciate that!!

        I never pitched, but have gotten drilled on a few occasions where I was the hitter after someone hit a long home run off a guy or did something to otherwise piss the guy off. And I honestly can see where you’re coming from. If you’re getting your ass kicked, then maybe you want to just rear back and chuck it and let it all out. Maybe you wanna hit the next guy because you’re just that mad. I’m pretty sure that’s you’re point, and again since I’ve never pitched, I won’t claim to understand that mentality, nor will I necessarily attempt to debate its merits.

        However, what I do know is that acting like a damn fool on the diamond because you’re having a bad game is not at all acceptable. I don’t care if you’re 0-5 or you gave up 5 home runs, there’s no reason to put other players in the line of fire because of it. I think you and I can both agree that, even though you have been in the same spot, throwing intentionally inside to brush someone back out of frustration may not have been the right thing to do. But, acting in the heat of the moment, the best decisions are not always made. I can respect that.

      • hittfamily - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:24 AM

        I’m not going to try to dissect Zambrano’s thinking process, nor will I condone it.

        I’m quoting myself here, but oh well.

        I grew up the son of a biologist. I heard over and over again “It is not die-sect, it is diss-sect. I hated it, because everyone who wasn’t a biologist said “die-sect”. I grew up saying “die-sect”, because my peers, movies, and high school teachers said it that way. Now, with gradeschoolers of my own, they are required by my law to say diss-sect, as all experts I have ever heard lecture said it that way.

        And yes, I have threatened them that I might not care if I miss left. :)

      • killabri - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:33 AM

        Hey ya know what hit, fair enough… you don’t condone pegging a guy out frustration, but understand it. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone has done something a bit foolish out of frustration, and I can agree on you on that point.

        My question is… have you taught your gradeschoolers the value of the inside fastball?

  7. stlducks - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    i really hope he comes back. As a cardinal fan watching the cubs lose is fun but watching a circus like this is just awesome.

  8. hotkarlsandwich - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    This just in. The Cubs Suck. 1908

  9. cur68 - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    Waiting for Todd Hollandsworth to blame Aramis Ramirez for this…

  10. Old Gator - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    I hear Zambrano was seen having a kefir and soda at a local bar with Ricky Williams just before the game.

  11. Walk - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    I think zambrano just wanted out of the game, just speculation on my part, but you can see him looking in the dugout after ugglas homer. No one was warming in the pen. He took the quickest route off the mound. I got to listen to my brothers and my father talk a bit about it, my brother mike seemed surprised big z just walked off, my dad laughed and said he did not know how tough chipper is but he bet he could take on the water cooler and gatorade dispenser at the same time and big z had to have a bat to take them on.

  12. indaburg - Aug 13, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    Zambrano is acting like a damn fool. Sabathia had a similar outing last night (to my enjoyment) and his reaction after the game was something like sh*t happens, move on. No histrionics, no throwing at hitters, locker intact. CC took his bad night like a man. This showcases the difference between an overgrown tantrum throwing toddler and a mature adult.

  13. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    The problem with Zambrano is that he is a winner. Being with the Cubs this long has taken its toll. I’m surprised he has lasted his long. Put him in a Yankee uniform and he wins the AL Cy Young.

  14. halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Waking up this morning and reading this has made my morning. I got a good laugh with this one. Zambrano is a head case and needs to be out of baseball. If this guy tries to weasel his way back on the Cubs with another apology, the Cubs will tell him to pound sand. Retire after getting lit up? I thought I saw it all.

  15. eaglefan87 - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    THANK GOD !! this guy is done he is the cubs “ace” an he does this get rid of him im a big cubs fan an for years i have been saying trade big z when his stock was high now look u end up with jack. thanks goes to jim H for all your dumb moves !!

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      I see your handle is eaglefan. In addition to being a Cubs fan, you are a Philadelphia Eagles fan as well? Just curious.

    • hoopmatch - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      Here are a few periods for your next post…………………………..

  16. paul621 - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    It’s “shoo-in,” derived from the verb “to shoo.”

  17. kingjoe1 - Aug 13, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Teh Cubs would be doing a happy dance to end all happy dances if CZ retired.

  18. macjacmccoy - Aug 13, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    maybe he should Rich Ankiel it, forget about pitching and become a DH lol

  19. spudchukar - Aug 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM


  20. dlevalley - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    So, is anyone else surprised that Zambrano is only 30? Geez, it feels like he’s been ‘that crazy guy’ forever…

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