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.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.