The Cubs are calling Carlos Zambrano’s bluff

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Courtesy of Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, here is Cubs general manager Jim Hendry’s reaction to Carlos Zambrano’s intention to retire.

“We will respect his wishes and honor them and move forward.”

I can only assume this is an edited version of the original statement that may have read something like, “Thanks for taking us off the hook for the remainder of your contract. Party at my house.”

Of course, this is likely just the beginning of yet another ugly episode. If Zambrano really does walk away, he would be giving up the remainder of his $17.875 million salary for this season and his entire $18 million salary in 2012. That works out to somewhere around $24 million total. You can bet that whoever is in his ear is telling him to get his butt to the ballpark today and apologize for cleaning out his locker and walking out on his teammates. But hey, Big Z has always marched to the beat of his own drum, so he might actually be serious about this whole thing.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.