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Cubs place Carlos Zambrano on disqualified list

Aug 13, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Carlos Zambrano retiring? If only it was that easy.

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have placed Zambrano on the disqualified list. This includes 30 days without pay and no contact with the team.

While Zambrano cleaned out his locker and reportedly told some of his teammates that he was thinking about retirement following last night’s ejection, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that his agent Barry Praver told Cubs GM Jim Hendry that he is “not in the retirement mode.”

Right on cue, Ken Rosenthal of hears from a source that the players’ union plans to file a grievance against the Cubs for their decision to place Big Z on the disqualified list without pay.

If the Cubs are lucky, this will end with some sort of settlement where both sides will sit down and Zambrano will get a sizable chunk of the approximately $24 million left on his contract and be sent on his merry way. Not holding my breath on that, though.

UPDATE: Buster Olney of reports that the Cubs were told within two hours after Friday’s game that Zambrano “definitely” wasn’t retiring. He also made “private, emotional remarks” to the club staff and returned his belongings to his locker.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    ” Ken Rosenthal of hears from a source that the players’ union plans to file a grievance against the Cubs for their decision to place Big Z on the disqualified list without pay.”

    A grievance? Are they kidding? This guy cleared out his locker, told an employee of the Cubs that he was retiring, and left the stadium. This is another reason why the player’s union is a joke. I know it is legal protocol for the union to do this, but, use some common sense here. The union makes themselves look foolish for backing this punk. If they cared about PR, which they don’t, they would distance themselves as far away as possible from this guy. He is the poster child for bad apples in baseball.

    • hoopmatch - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      I don’t know. I heard Harold Apple (NY Mets 1961-64) was pretty bad himself.

    • ralphdibny - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      Unions don’t work that way. Think of the union as like a defense attorney; their job is to defend the rights of players against an ownership system which has traditionally wielded much more power. And like a defense attorney, sometimes that means sticking up for a no-account SOB. But the idea is that, just like in the legal system, the best outcomes result when both sides have power, rather than just hoping that the owners will always find it in their heart to do the right thing.

      Now, as a Braves fan, I’m irritated that Z’s immature antics have completely overshadowed the more important stories of yesterday, the stories of Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, and Ernie Johnson. But I’m glad the player’s union is doing its job.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        Ralph, didn’t say that. If you look at my post, I clearly stated that I understand that this is how legal protocol works. I still think it’s a disgrace.

      • nudeman - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:27 PM

        I don’t care how unions work.

        He walked out on the team. In fact, in the game story in the Chicago Trib, they said that when he threw inside to Jones and got ejected, the Braves benches emptied and the Cubs bench didn’t.

        That right there is all you need to know about the amount of support he has left in the clubhouse.

        Lock the door and throw away the key. No team needs this type of immaturity.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:46 PM


        I agree with you 1000%. Good point of view. That’s how I see it.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:49 PM

        @nudeman, the fact that his teammates wouldn’t come out just shows what losers they are.

        I don’t condone what Zambrano did, and they didn’t have to fight, but but if they can’t be bothered to support a teammate, why should that teammate worry about their feelings. Sounds to me like everything Zambrano has said about his team is entirely true, and they proved it.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:06 PM

        Baseball Idiot,

        You made this a race issue with your comment below. Where’s your response to my question? Elaborate on this or you lose all credibility.

    • paul621 - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      I don’t fully disagree, but the facts seem fuzzy at best at this point. Even this post uses the phrase “thinking about retirement,” which is a huge step back from what was posted originally.

    • Glenn - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      Though it is hard to defend a guy like Zambrano, there is a big difference between cleaning out one’s locker and saying to a clubhouse guy that you are thinking of retiring and officially retiring. I have to think that some actual paperwork would have to be signed for the retirement to be real. Doesn’t mean the Cubs can’t punish him for his horrible behavior, but I doesn’t let them off the hook for the remainder of the contract either.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Here’s another thing that pisses me off with Zambrano. Here’s a guy that has unbelievable talent. Decent pitcher that could have been alot better with the arm he has and one of the best hitting pitchers that I ever saw. He makes millions upon millions of dollars a year and can’t behave himself and be a good teammate. Enough! Time to go, Carlos. Take your pitiful antics and leave baseball. You have made more money than most people can make in 10 lifetimes.

  3. patsandsox - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    All I want to know is what idiot gave Zambrano that contract in the first place? Its not like anyone didnt know of his temper.

    Teams give out these ridiculous contracts and then act surprised when they blow up in their faces. Duh.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      Question: Before the Cubs signed him to the long term contract, did he exhibit this type of behavior?

      • paperlions - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        Yeah, Z had always been this guy….the difference is that the eruptions weren’t as destructive when he was pitching well, and he did seem to use his emotions to fuel performance and to focus more on the task at hand….now that things are not going well, he’s off the rails…same emotional responses, but no focus to them.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:25 PM

        So lions, let me ask you. Is this guy a genuine p.o.s? Can we at least agree on that, being that we disagree on most other topics?

      • paperlions - Aug 13, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        If by P.O.S., you mean an idiot with the maturity of a 14-yr old…then yes. What he does as a ball player pales in comparison to what politicians and business “leaders” do on a daily basis, his blow ups don’t even register on my P.O.S.-o-meter.

  4. halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Here’s another thing I don’t get. They say that Zambrano has “anger management issues.” OK. Plenty of players have anger and play as such. Some of them are really good ball players. But, the difference between them and Zambrano is that Zambrano takes that anger out on his teammates, not the opposition. That’s unacceptable. Play with a chip on your shoulder and I have no problem with that. Play against your own team and become a disruption. I have a big problem with that. As a Phillies fan, if this was Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels and they pulled this crap, I would want them gone, immediately. Without question. When I go to see a game live, I want to know that the player I am roooting and paying to see is about the team and not themselves and is dignified. Not like this guy.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:17 PM

      The Yankees won back-to-back World Series in ’77 and ’78, with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Cliff Johnson and one of the most unpopular players in the game, let alone the team (Thurman Munson).

      If the Cubs were winning, no one would give a crap. They suck, so know it’s all Zambrano’s fault for speaking out.

      There is nothing wrong with calling out your teammates when they need to be called out. Winning teams call that leadership. Losers whine about it.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:23 PM

        Your comparison is weak, with all due respect. Tell me the instances when the players you just mentioned walked away from a team and told an employee that he was retired, and we have a debate.

        Those players were nothing like this Zambrano. Not even close.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:31 PM

        No, your knowledge of the history of the game is weak. There is a long history of players quitting on losing teams. You also, once again, failed to read what I wrote and just guessed at it.

        If the Cubs were winning, no one would give a crap, and Zambrano wouldn’t act like this. He wouldn’t have to.

        The Cubs are losers, so Zambrano spouts about his loser teammates, and everyone treats him like the bad guy.

        If his teammates don’t want to be called losers, then they need to win. If they are losing, then by any use of language you want, they are losers. So how is Zambrano wrong?

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        Baseball Idiot,

        Once again, you claim that I didn’t read your post. B.S. I read every word, but, once again, you have to throw in a disparaging remark. I try to have a legitimate discussion with you, and you refuse to. I guess the “Idiot” part of your handle is appropriate.

        You are a clown. You are making excuses for a guy that quit on his team. Laughable.

        By the way, my knowledge of baseball goes beyond books, “Idiot”. I played more baseball in 1 year than you probably played your whole life.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Zach Greinke did the same thing. Everyone made him a hero. Why isn’t Zambrano one?

        Mabye because he’s not white?

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      Basball Idiot,

      Zack Greinke? He walked out on his team and retired? You are bringing race into the equation?

      You just stated your line of thought. I’m speechless. But, by all means, please expound on your theory.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:03 PM

        As I said, you need to learn the history of the game. Greinke quit on his team and went home. Yeah, I know he had some kind of anxiety order. Doesn’t change what he did.

        Zambrano quit on his team because he got tired of playing with a bunch of losers. Unless you’re a psychologist, then I would question your knowledge of his motives.

        Greinke, the white guy, got to return to a hero’s welcome.

        Are you going to do the same for Zambrano?

        And if not, why?

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        He never quit on his team. He never left the stadium after getting knocked around. You are so clueless, it pathetic. Keep your race BS out of HBT. We don’t need it. We talk baseball, and Zambrano is a clubhouse cancer.

        Learn the history of the game? Read my posts and you may learn something.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

        Greinke publicly stated he was going home and didn’t want to play baseball anymore. He was used to being successful and couldn’t handle the lack of success with a losing organization. If that’s not quitting on your team, please give me a better definition. I’m not talking about semantics or the use of particular words. I’m talking about quitting on you team.

        Zambrano is tired of playing with a bunch of losers who don’t want to win, and said in a fit of anger (which he seems to have many of) that he was retiring.

        You’re making excuses for Greinke and vilifying Zambrono.

        Now, you explain the difference between the two or you lose all credibility.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:35 PM

        Laughable. I never made any excuse for Grienke. But, he didn’t get ejected from a game, clear his locker out and announce his retirement after getting lit up. Also, he never was a disruptive individual in the clubhouse. It’s absurd that you even bring him up as a comparison. What’s your issue, “Baseball Idiot”? Why do you not see that Zambrano is a big time punk and needs to be removed from the great game of baseball? Do you like players that the rest of the team would like to disappear? I don’t get you. Please tell me your line of thought. Seriously, I have doubts on your sanity at this point.

  5. 24missed - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    I’m curious, not just trying to push buttons, but is there really any team that doesn’t have a guy like this on their team? Maybe not to that extreme, but, I really wonder.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      No, that’s cool. It’s a legitimate question. My guess is that Zambrano is unique, especially with baseball. In other sports, this crap goes on more often. But baseball is more relaxed and it seems you have a better team chemistry, especially since the guys play a 162 game season and are pretty close. So, it’s unusual to see this type of cancer in baseball. In short, my opinion is that Zambrano is a different animal, so to speak. He’s the type of guy that would be unhappy wherever he plays. You could put him on the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies and he would still bitch about something.

      • 24missed - Aug 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM

        Took a while to respond, sorry ’bout that. I appreciate the explanation. I know Zambrano is a big story right now and has been before, and can think of some other guys like this. Not following all teams that closely, it just wasn’t clear to me whether there was a ‘Zambrano’ on every team. Maybe a quieter version ~ he’s pretty darn out there.

        Thanks for the response.

    • nudeman - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      24missed, yes, every team has a clown or two like Zambrano.

      But Zambrano is supposed to be a team leader; the horse of the staff. He’s been their #1 starter for several years, up until this year when they finally had enough of his childishness and busting up water coolers and appropriately gave it to Dempster, a pro’s pro.

      • 24missed - Aug 15, 2011 at 10:42 PM

        Thanks nudeman. And I love your name.

        I had no realization that this was their former leader. My team is pretty easy to pick out the guys that act like this and to what spectrum. And the other teams I follow pretty intensely, without rooting for, of course, I can picture. Only the guys from other teams with huge problems stick out to me.

        It has seemed to me that the more cohesive a team is, the better ball they play. Even the guys that really can make it difficult on the rest of the team might have a player take them under their wing and help bring them around. But, again, it depends on the spectrum of their behavior, ego, etc.

        Thanks so much, nudeman.

  6. thetooloftools - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I am so glad that baseball has such a powerful union too.
    That is why steroids went rampant, players are not tested for hgh, and their is no salary cap so many small market teams are just squeezed out before the first pitch of the season.
    Yup. Nothing to see here… keep moving folks… nothing wrong.

    • nudeman - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      The combination of the MLB Union and owners who have caved for literally decades is killing the game. Fehr defended drug testing for years, until the sport became a national embarrassment with guys hitting 75 HRs/year and looking like overinflated Michelin Men. Nope, no reason to test; they’re all good kids; all just are into nutrition, weights and getting a good night’s sleep.

      The Union and weak owners have given us a game that has turned off the youth in this country, 4 hour games, World Series games being played at night in east coast cities in November, and right out of the gate every year a handful of teams that have ZERO chance to win.

      Baseball is STILL the greatest game. MLB is the worst run professional sport. By far.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 13, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        Agree with you again, Nudeman. You speak much truth. I would like to get into it more with you, but I got a Nats-Phils game to watch. I would really love to talk to you about this as I agree with you. Maybe in the near future.

  7. kbigz81 - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Hendry is the moron that keeps signing these nut bags to huge contracts. (Milton Bradley) for one. The cubs were the only ball club to sign Bradley to a mutli-year contract. Zambrano behaved like this before they renewed his contract. So I blame Hendry for resigning him. They should have got rid of him when they had the chance. Same with Hendry! He needs to go!

  8. jaypace - Aug 13, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    In fairness we may ever know if grienke was a distraction in the clubhouse, he may not have been having huge outbursts after getting his titties ripped, but there are other ways to undermine a club house then being a huge punk.

  9. nudeman - Aug 13, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Anytime halladay. I am a 55 yr old+ long suffering Cub fan and am very jealous of what you have going on there in Philly. BTW, that clinching WS game that was abbreviated due to a sleet storm then finished the next night was Exhibit A in MLB’s embarrassing management.

    Just awful. The Phils should have had sled dogs there to carry them around for their victory lap.

  10. willcoop - Aug 13, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    First of all, I respect everyones opinion on the board, but using ones race to deliver a point was out of line. Now, I have watched Carlos the Dragon for the lad ten years and he has gotten worse every year. I’m not a doctor, but there has to be a chemical embalance going on with him. Yes, the Cubs are horse crap this year from the owner to the lowest player. I’m not going to call them losers as much as I will say they have a losers attitude. It seems to be widely accepted throughout the organization. Last night was all about Zambrano and not his teammates. It wasn’t anyone out there giving up airline milage home runs but Carlos the deranged. It wasn’t his teammates trying to hit a sure fire hall of famer in Chipper Jones. What’s worse is he couldn’t even hit him. And in the end he made such an ass out of himself that his teammates finally decided enough was enough and let poor Gilligan sink by himself. Every national sports rag has put the pressure on Hendry to get rid of him. Ricketts is a buffoon because he has no control of the circus known as Carlos the Clown. I promise you that the most famous clown in Chicago, Bozo, didn’t get this much pub. Oh, by the way has anyone besides me heard that Hendry is being retained for next season? And the saga continues, stay tuned for the next episode of As the Carlos Turns. Now you guys play nice in the sand box and be gentlemen.

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