Carlos Zambrano: ‘I want to keep pitching for the Cubs’
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org August 15, 2011 6:10PM
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano told an interviewer Monday he is upset with himself and not the Cubs when he exited Friday night’s game in Atlanta after being ejected for trying to hit Braves slugger Chipper Jones. | Getty Images
Updated: August 15, 2011 10:44PM
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano told an interviewer Monday he is upset with himself and not the Cubs when he exited Friday night’s game in Atlanta after being ejected for trying to hit Braves slugger Chipper Jones.
In his first comments since leaving the clubhouse unannounced Friday, Zambrano told Comcast Sports Net’s David Kaplan he did tell some he wanted to retire when he cleaned out his locker but only because he was upset at his performance.
``I did want to retire. I feel bad with myself, not with the Cubs, not with the organization,’’ he said. ``I feel bad with me, with the performance, with what I am doing or I was doing in the season. It’s frustrating every time I go to the mound and I give up eight runs. It’s not me, and I want to do my best.
``I want to keep pitching for the Cubs. It was a moment of frustration Friday night, and I pitched so bad I wanted to retire, you know. I don’t want to be making $18 million and pitch like crap.’’
Zambrano said he left when the Cubs were batting in the ninth, not wanting to meet the media after the game, but that he intended to come to the back as usual on Saturday. He said his agent, Barry Praver, told him not to go as discussions began between the team, Praver and the players association.
``I did say I want to quit. I was so frustrated and that word should never have come out of my mouth.’’
Zambrano denied he was trying to hit Jones in a game in which he had given up a career-worst five home runs.
``Why would I be hitting Chipper that night? Chipper is the main guy on the Braves, and I threw some curves inside because I wanted to get them to extend their arms because they were too comfortable. I have to pitch inside, and the pitch was a cutter. If I want to hit someone, I hit him. I think I have good target when I want to hit someone. And [Jim] Edmonds [a past victim] can talk about that.’’
Zambrano was placed on the disqualified list for a minimum of 30 unpaid days in the wake of his latest disciplinary event. His agent, Barry Praver, has issued some statements about the incident.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, a friend of Zambrano’s, said the pitcher called his home Friday night and spoke to his wife, telling her he was upset at how he has performed and felt he was not earning his annual salary.
Indications are the team will try to severe ties with Zambrano, whom they were unable to trade in July. Asked if he wants to stay with the Cubs, Zambrano said, ``of course man. Hey, the Cubs have been to me like my family. The organization is my family. I’ve seen people go and come and I’m still there.’’
Zambrano said he is ``sad about what happened. Nobody knows how I feel right now, but I understand how baseball is,’’ adding ``it’s up to [general manager Jim Hendry] and whoever in the front office to do whatever they want to do.’’