This has to be it for the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano. If the right-hander is to be believed, this is it for him period.
After giving up a career-high five homers and getting ejected for throwing at the Braves’ Chipper Jones, Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker and told a Cubs trainer he was retiring, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“He didn’t have it tonight,” manager Mike Quade said. “I’m really disappointed. His locker is empty. I don’t know where he’s at. He walked out on 24 guys that are battling their (butts) off for him. I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. I heard he’s retired, or talking about retiring.”
If Zambrano walked away, he’d forfeit the remainder of his $17.875 million salary for this year and his entire $18 million salary in 2012. That’s a lot to give up, but Zambrano almost certainly cost himself some cash tonight no matter what he does now. The Cubs would seem to be well within their rights to suspend him indefinitely for his actions.
Zambrano’s loss tonight dropped him to 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA this season. The 30-year-old is 125-81 with a 3.60 ERA in 11 seasons, all of them coming with the Cubs.
For more quotes from Quade, check out the video at CSN Chicago.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”