Ozzie Guillen: Carlos Zambrano is ‘embarrassed’
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org August 13, 2011 9:26PM
Johnny Giavotella slides safely into first as Brent Lillibridge reaches for the tag in the second. | John Gress~Getty Images
Updated: October 19, 2011 3:02AM
The latest transgression by Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano “is a very bad and very sad situation,’’ White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Saturday.
“I can talk from both ways, as a manager and his friend,” Guillen said. “It’s tough on how a manager would handle that because he’s very intense about respect, loyalty. On the other side, this kid has a lot of pride. This kid’s embarrassed. This kid wants to be good, and I think he feels like he’s not doing his job.’’
Venezuelans Guillen and Zambrano are close, and Guillen said the Cubs pitcher talked to his wife briefly Friday night after his unannounced departure from a game in Atlanta after being ejected. Guillen said he didn’t speak to Zambrano, who was placed on a disqualified list Saturday without pay for at least 30 days.
“I don’t take anything away from what people say [about Zambrano], but I don’t think too many people know why or they don’t know why he’s acting that way,’’ Guillen said. “Whatever people say I respect and he should respect. It’s just a very, very tough situation because he’s one of the best pitchers they have.’’
Zambrano’s last outburst last season happened at U.S. Cellular Field against the Sox, that being the dugout tirade against teammate Derrek Lee that led to Zambrano’s suspension and mandated anger management counseling. That night, Zambrano kept a planned dinner with Guillen and his family.
Guillen said Zambrano, who started a charitable foundation this year, is “a great guy’’, but he added “it gets to the point of enough is enough.
“What can I say? Hopefully today he feels a little bit better. He should feel embarrassed, he should regret what he said or what he did, but I don’t think he said anything bad. There’s a lot of people thinking [about] what he said [retiring]. I did a lot. You know how many times I wanted to quit? But I can’t because I love this game. So does he.
“I guarantee you in two or three more days, he’ll be thinking, ‘Oh my God, what I did?’ And believe me, I don’t know why, I don’t know what really happened, but I guarantee he’ll feel more embarrassed than anything. Knowing him, I’m pretty sure that’s the way he’ll feel.’’
Guillen said the situation “is the Cubs problem,’’ adding, “Obviously it’s going to be hard, but just stick with him. Listen to what he says.’’
Only once did Guillen directly discipline a player he felt violated team rules, when he sent home relief pitcher Damaso Marte late in the 2005 season for reporting to the park late without advanced permission. Marte was allowed back days later but was traded after the season.
“I packed his bag out of my clubhouse,” Guillen said. “He deserved it. He didn’t respect my rules the team rules.
“On this ball club, it’s not going to happen,’’ he added of a situation like Zambrano’s. “I know my players and I think we respect each other. Like I’ve said in the past, hate me, love me, I don’t care. But one thing — respect. That’s all I care about with players. And win games for me. That’s what I get paid for. Every manager does.’’
Adam Dunn left the team because of the death of an uncle. Guillen said he would return Tuesday for the start of the Cleveland series.
◆ Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was hit on the left wrist Friday, also is expected to play again Tuesday after Monday’s off day.