Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Big Z goes ballistic on umpire after close call at home plate

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Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano -- trying to earn his 100th career victory -- instead added another chapter to the crazy side of his career in the seventh inning today against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Arguing a close call at the plate on the tying run, Zambrano was ejected after making contact with plate umpire Mark Carlson. After Carlson gave Zambrano the heave-ho, the veteran pitcher pointed his finger in the ump's face and did an animated routine of his own, ejecting Carlson.

Manager Lou Piniella pulled Zambrano away, but Big Z wasn't done. On his way off the field, he chucked the game ball into left-center field -- taking one hop to the warning track -- then heaved his glove against the fence in front of the Cubs dugout. The glove rebounded and was immediately kicked by pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
And Zambrano still wasn't done.

On his way down the tunnel to the clubhouse, Zambrano grabbed a bat and started whacking the recently repaired Gatorade dispenser in the dugout. He nearly struck his own pitching coach in the process, as Rothschild tried to intervene.
Maybe Zambrano knew his outing was coming to an end. His last pitch was his 114th of the game.

Here's what set him off. With the Cubs leading by a run and Nyjer Morgan at third base, Zambrano threw a wild pitch that bounced toward the Cubs' dugout. Zambrano rushed to cover the plate and catcher Geovany Soto's throw arrived at the same time as Morgan, who was sliding head-first.

Carlson called Morgan safe and Zambrano immediately got in the umpire's face. Replays showed Morgan was indeed safe.

Aside from an automatic fine, Zambrano almost certainly will be suspended by the league for his actions.

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Ok. he and Bradley have got to go.
Lee and Big Z to the Padres for Peavy.

Bradley, Marshall and Samardjza to Cleveland for Mark DeRosa.

Then Hendry needs to go.

Enough said.

At least Big Z seems to be maturing. A few years ago, he probably would have punched Rothschild.

I like guys who play with emotion, but Carlos is borderline psycho. Some may call him passionate, but when he does hair-brain things that result in his suspension, I call him selfish.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on May 27, 2009 3:45 PM.

A Q and A with the Cubs' new Mr. Everything, Jake Fox was the previous entry in this blog.

Piniella a no-show -- just like the Cubs' offense against the Dodgers is the next entry in this blog.

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