Carlos Zambrano says he's going to retire after 2012

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A couple of months ago, if you told me that Carlos Zambrano was going to retire after the 2012 season, I would have asked how he’d ever make it that long.  He’s been pitching well lately, however. So well, in fact, that it’s not too hard to imagine him being a solid starter again for several years.

Nope. Big Z says he’s done after 2012:

“I told you the other day, this will be my last contract. This will be my last contract. I won’t be playing anymore. I
don’t want to play anymore. Life is short. Sometimes you miss things
with your family, like very important people, like my daughter.
Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn’t
miss. I want to be there any moment for my daughter and my family.
Baseball takes a lot of time away from us.”

This has been an ugly season for Zambrano, but if he can return to being the guy he was a few years ago — a horse who took the ball every fifth day and who kept the crazy to an amusing minimum — I’d be sad if he hung it up after 2012.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
AP Images
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.