Saturday, August 13, 2011
Sutcliffe: Cubs, Zambrano should part
Two former All-Star pitchers shared strong opinions of Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano on ESPN 1000's "Talkin' Baseball" on Saturday.
ESPN baseball analyst and former Cub Rick Sutcliffe believes it's time for the Cubs and Zambrano to part ways.
"This is a proud man, probably too much," Sutcliffe said. "You know that he was embarrassed with what happened. You know that it was the pride that got in the way, that created that situation, but ... enough's enough. The Cubs at this point need to sit down with him and figure out a way to end this relationship because it's not working there."
Sutcliffe added that Zambrano doesn't need to hang it up for good.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he could still be a productive big league pitcher," Sutcliffe said. "He needs to get away from baseball, probably for the rest of this year," Sutcliffe said. "And then possibly come back somewhere else."
Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz said while Zambrano's frustration is understandable, his continued inability to control it is not.
"I don't think anyone could have predicted what he was capable of doing (to) that degree, but every pitcher who goes through something like this has a moment," Smoltz said. "You can always forgive a moment. You can understand a moment. But there's been too many moments for Carlos Zambrano. And I think now something will have to be done if you're the Cubs because you can't afford another moment."
Smoltz noted that Zambrano isn't the only major league player guilty of exhibiting inappropriate behavior.
"If ownership and teams did a better job preparing a professional to be a professional. ... Quit assuming that guys know how to be a professional, and teach them their responsibilities and demand their responsibilities," Smoltz said. "When it's going good, everyone can be a professional and a teammate. When it's not going good, that's when it's hard to do those things. This is not the only team. The Cubs are not the only ones dealing with this."