Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has resurfaced and actually found a team willing to pay the former three-time All-Star. Unfortunately for “Big Z”, it isn’t a team in MLB, but rather the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Zambrano was, at one time, a fan favorite at Wrigley Field with his fiery and at-times temperamental personality that would often result in the 6-foot-4, 250-pound right-hand pitcher breaking bats over his knees, yelling at no one in particular while walking off the mound and smashing Gatorade coolers.
His biggest achievement as a Cub came when he threw the team’s first no-hitter in 36 years in 2008 against the Houston Astros. However, Zambrano may be remembered most for his fight with Michael Barrett, which resulted with the catcher getting a black eye, and his me-first antics that rubbed the team and fans the wrong way when his performance started to drop.
It was easier to tolerate his behavior when he was winning 16 and 18 games a season and hitting home runs at a prodigious rate for a pitcher, but when his ERA ballooned and his behavior became more erratic, he looked like an immature buffoon.
He hit rock bottom with the Cubs after a terrible performance vs. the Atlanta Braves in 2011, when he gave up five home runs and then cleaned out his locker and threatened retirement. He was given a 30-day suspension by the Cubs, the stiffest penalty they could dish out.
He will attempt to resurrect his MLB career with the Ducks, but I don’t see him in the big leagues in the near future. My real concern is for the welfare of the Gatorade coolers in the Atlantic League.