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Cubs Tue Aug 16 2011

Latest Meltdown is Final Straw for Zambrano

Thumbnail image for cubs.gifIn yet another chapter of the Carlos Zambrano Chronicles, Big Z all but wrote his own ending Friday night in Atlanta. One that neither he nor Cubs fans saw coming. Zambrano had another hissy fit and this time it might have cost him his job with the Cubs. By now most of you know what went down, so rather than rehash old news, let's look forward to where the franchise and Zambrano go from here.

Zambrano spoke publicly Monday for the first time since his Friday meltdown, telling David Kaplan he wants to return to the team and finish his career on the North Side.

But after this latest incident there can't be any way that he pitches for the Chicago Cubs again.

It is a sad thing to consider, because the guy has all the talent in the world to win 18-20 games a season, but for some reason he just can't figure it out. To make matters worse he's been given chance after chance and he still can't seem to focus himself.

I would consider myself a Zambrano fan. His fire and passion, when harnessed properly, make him one of the top pitchers in the NL. I've been hesitant to trade him after his previous tirades and outbursts because I've always had the feeling that if and when they do trade him, he'll finally put it all together for some other club.

What I won't defend is the fact he walked out on this team when things didn't go his way. To take a line from the late John Belushi, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Bottom line, you don't walk out on your club. By doing that he disgraced the fans, his teammates and the Ricketts family, along with anyone else who has ever put on the Cubs uniform and knew that it was a privilege and not a right to wear Cub blue. Guys like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. Those guys got it, Big Z not so much.

This to me has to be the final straw. If the Ricketts family is serious about turning this thing around, they'll make a statement that it is no longer business as usual. For too long misdeeds have gone overlooked and unpunished. It is time for that to stop.

Tom Ricketts needs to send a message to current and potential Cubs players that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Give Z his walking papers: "Thanks for your service, but you are no longer needed here."

It is really unfortunate that this happened. Zambrano has no one to blame but himself. There is no possible way that he can come back to this team, especially not after this.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me half a dozen times, I'm an idiot.

His talent is what makes getting rid of him difficult. Out of the 25 guys on the Cubs roster he is one of guys I would've wanted to keep around. He seemed like a vital piece of the puzzle. But not after bailing on his team.

 
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