Zambrano to receive counseling, won’t return until after the All-Star break

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs’ starter Carlos Zambrano will undergo counseling to help him control his emotional outbursts, much like the one that occurred last Friday when he went bonkers in the dugout in a game against the White Sox. He’s not expected to return to the club until sometime after the All-Star break.

Whether treatment will fix everything in the future is a question Hendry couldn’t answer Monday.

”My sense is that after a few days [since Friday], he feels quite remorseful,” Hendry said after their first talk since Friday. ”We all make mistakes. He’s probably made a few more in the last few years than we’d like.

”I think we all agree it’s time he got help and then address the apologies later. It’s not time for words a few days after the fact, but some action. Hopefully he goes and gets the help he needs and can rectify some of his actions with his teammates and move forward after the break.”

Zambrano will go to New York on Wednesday to meet with two doctors approved by all parties. They will prescribe a course of treatment.

”He certainly understands the situation, and he and his representative signed off on it,” Hendry said.

Zambrano hadn’t spoken to his teammates since the incident. Several tried unsuccessfully to contact him over the weekend.

Hopefully Big Z does get some help and the situation will get resolved. It doesn’t do him, his teammates or the Cubs organization any good if he comes back from treatment and throws another tantrum sometime down the line.

Of course, whether or not he fixes his on-field issues is another question.

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The self-implosion of Carlos Zambrano continues

Carlos Zambrano, who may or may not be certifiably nuts, was suspended indefinitely by the Cubs following his outburst in a game against the White Sox on Friday night.

Here’s what happened (via the Chicago Sun-Times):

Zambrano stormed up and down the dugout, turning on several of his teammates, including first baseman Derrek Lee. Zambrano accused his teammates of failing to dive for ground balls that went for hits.

Piniella, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and other coaches interceded as Zambrano appeared ready for a physical confrontation. He was held back and sent to the clubhouse before the Cubs took the field in the bottom of the second.

Big Crazy also apparently went into a tirade with some cameramen on his way out of the stadium last night, which should be really, really fun to watch whenever it reaches the light of day.

Roughly $45 million is still owed to Zambrano, but it might be time for the Cubs to cut him like a dead limb and move on. He’s been nothing short of an absolute disaster both on and off the field the last two seasons and this latest outburst may have bought him a one-way ticket out of town – Milton Bradley style. I’m not sure if the Cubs could get anything in a trade for him (at least not without paying most of his salary), but if I’m Jim Hendry I’m on the phone right now figuring out which GMs didn’t see the outburst last night.

“Hey Jon, it’s Jim. I was just wondering if you caught SportsCenter last night or early this morning? No? Great…I’d like to talk about Carlos Zambrano and what he’d look like in a Rangers uniform…”


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Zambrano suspended six games for tirade

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano will be suspended six games after he bumped umpire Mark Carlson and then went on to throw a temper tantrum on the field and in the dugout in a game against the Pirates on Wednesday.

Zambrano’s agent, Barry Praver, said the penalty, which included a $3,000 fine, a source told ESPNChicago.com, will not be appealed. The suspension began Thursday night and barring rainouts Zambrano will be eligible to pitch next Thursday at Atlanta.

The Cubs ace threw a baseball into left field, slammed his glove against the dugout fence, and used a bat to smash a Gatorade dispenser in the Cubs’ dugout after he was ejected Wednesday with Chicago leading 2-1 in the seventh inning of a 5-2 victory Pittsburgh.

“I apologize for that. Like I said, I should have more control of myself in that situation,” Zambrano said after the game. “I just wanted to get out of that inning and win the ballgame. I didn’t say a bad word. I should have gone to the clubhouse and keep watching the game. I apologize for throwing the ball and the other things.”

Six games seems a little extreme, but I like the fact that Big Z won’t appeal. What for? It’s like when you get a speeding ticket on the highway; yeah it sucks, but you got caught, so take your punishment and move on.

My question is, if Zambrano got a six game suspension for bumping an umpire, then why didn’t the ump that “forcibly guided” Tigers’ outfielder Magglio Ordonez out of the batter’s box during a game against the Twins a couple weeks ago not get punished? Zambrano gets six games for slightly bumping an umpire but an umpire who puts his hands on a player gets to skate with just an apology? This certainly isn’t worth a full on debate, but isn’t that a little ridiculous? Hey, if umpires don’t want to be touched, then they shouldn’t be touching players either.

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