When is enough going to be enough with this guy? He is a bad teammate and he is obviously out of control. Cubs are going to have to do something sooner or later. Steve.
Zambrano apologizes to Marmol for outburst
CINCINNATI — Carlos Zambrano apologized Monday to teammate Carlos Marmol after criticizing the closer’s pitch selection, saying he was frustrated with the way the Cubs have been playing and added there’s still time to turn the season around.
On Sunday, Zambrano was in line for a win against the Cardinals, but Marmol gave up a game-tying RBI double to Ryan Theriot in the ninth, and St. Louis won, 3-2, on Albert Pujols’ second walk-off homer in as many days. After the game, Zambrano blasted the team, saying players should be “embarrassed” and they were playing like a “Triple-A team.” Said Zambrano: “We stink.”
He singled out Marmol, saying the right-hander should’ve thrown a fastball to Theriot, not a slider.
“What’s the big deal about this?” Zambrano said Monday. “I said what I said yesterday because I was frustrated. At the same time, we’re a team. We’re grown men and I know when I make a mistake. I came to Marmol today before anybody talked to me and I talked to him and apologized to him about the comment I said.
“Like I said yesterday, we all need to get better,” Zambrano said. “That’s my point. A moment of frustration yesterday made me say what I said.”
The Cubs are 2-9 in their last 11 games, and have lost a season-high six straight. They’re a season-low 11 games under .500 and are coming off a series sweep by the National League Central-leading Cardinals.
“I do care for this team and I care for what people do and what my teammates think about me,” Zambrano said. “I care about how we play, I care about the way we do things. … I don’t think there’s anybody on this team that doesn’t care. I think everybody on this team cares. What I said yesterday was a moment of frustration. I apologized to Marmol and let’s move on, let’s play baseball.”
Did he think someone needed to say something to wake up the Cubs?
“Somebody has to say something,” Zambrano said. “It doesn’t have to be me, because every time I open my mouth, it’s obviously a big thing.”
One lesson Zambrano said he did learn from Sunday was that he should talk to his teammate first and not the media, which he did Sunday.
Manager Mike Quade talked to Zambrano on Monday and said the comments were “made totally out of frustration” and don’t reflect how the two pitchers feel about each other.
“They took care of that and that’s that, we move on,” Quade said. “Good for them — that’s what grownups do, and they did a good job.”
Marmol has blown consecutive save opportunities for the third time in his career and first since June 20-27, 2009. Quade said he didn’t expect Zambrano to point a finger at his friend and teammate.
“I was surprised at that, because ‘Marm’ has been a valuable part of this,” Quade said. “It just shows how frustrated ‘Z’ was, and the level of frustration is pretty high around here.”
Quade said he will not fine or penalize Zambrano for his comments, nor did the pitcher need to apologize to his teammates.
“[Zambrano] has been really really good, and I’m not just talking about performance since his sabbatical last year [to undergo anger management therapy], and a little bit of frustration is not going to change for me at all,” Quade said.
Zambrano criticized his teammates more publicly last June 25 at U.S. Cellular Field after the first inning of an Interleague game against the White Sox, yelling at players in the dugout. He was suspended for three games and then underwent therapy.
While some fans support Zambrano’s comments, there also has been talk that he should be traded.
“I don’t want to think about that,” Zambrano said. “I’m a Cubbie and I want to be a Cubbie for the rest of my life. I’m going to focus on this team and I don’t want to focus on being traded. I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about helping this team.
“It’s not over yet, it’s not over for the Cubs,” he said of the season. “We know we haven’t played good. We lost three games in St. Louis, but we fought. We lost in the last inning, we lost with our gloves in our hands. That means this team has something. [We played] our division rival and one of the best teams in baseball and we fought good. Anything can happen in the last two months before the season is over.”
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its club