During the past week Carlos Zambrano has gotten thrown out of a game for arguing what proved to be a correct call, gone absolutely insane following the ejection, bashed a Gatorade machine into retirement, drawn a six-game suspension from MLB, and now the Chicago Tribune reports that “he blew off the team flight to Atlanta on Monday without permission.”
Zambrano showed up at the ballpark yesterday and “was summoned into
manager Lou Piniella’s office … for a meeting that lasted about five
minutes.” Given the respective tempers involved, I’m sure that was a
pleasant, low-key conversation. According to the Tribune, Zambrano “is expected to be fined for this latest incident and may be asked to apologize to his teammates.”
The newspaper also notes that “this isn’t the first time Zambrano has
ignored team rules” and “the Cubs appear to be wearying of his act.”
Meanwhile, since signing a five-year, $91.5 million contract extension
two Augusts ago Zambrano has a 4.02 ERA and 214/117 K/BB ratio in 286
innings spread over 46 starts. Prior to inking the deal he had a 3.37
ERA in 172 career starts.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.