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Zambrano blows up, again

5/28/2009

Best argument of the young season, and you gotta see the video ...  Zambrano

    "I overexaggerated after that play to throw the ball and to do the other things, you know," Carlos Zambrano said after the game. "Hopefully MLB will review the play and we'll see what happens."
    With the Cubs leading 2-1 and Zambrano closing in on his 100th career win, Nyjer Morgan led off the seventh with a single to left and went to third when the ball got by Alfonso Soriano for a two-base error.

    When a Zambrano wild pitch bounded a short distance from catcher Geovany Soto, the speedy Morgan broke for the plate. Zambrano went to cover and took the throw. Morgan slid as Zambrano blocked the plate and Carlson called him safe.

    Zambrano jumped up, argued the call and appeared to make contact with Carlson, prompting the ejection. He then pointed in Carlson's face and gave him the ejection sign.

    Zambrano wasn't finished. He threw a ball into left, slammed his glove against a dugout fence and whacked the drink dispenser on his way to the clubhouse.

    "I apologize to him. Like I say, after he kicked me out, I should have gone to the clubhouse and kept watching the game," Zambrano said. "I apologize to throw the ball and do other things.

    --snip--

    "I'm the only calm, cool, collected one around here it seems," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella who's been known to throw bases and kick dirt during tantrums. "Just kidding."

    Piniella said he would meet with Zambrano on Thursday.

    "He's got to tone it down a little," Piniella said. "He cares, but gosh you can argue a little bit, get your point across to the umpire that he thought the runner was out and just get back and go out and pitch."

I was watching the game and saw all the replays, and it sure looked like Morgan was safe, though Zambrano couldn't have known that from his viewpoint. On the other hand, he couldn't have known that Morgan was out, either (even if he had been). Which makes his reaction that much less excusable, as one can at least sort of understand a player getting angry when he's, you know, right.
As for the rest of it ... Well, nobody got hurt so I have a hard time getting all indignant. Frankly, I sort of admire the guy's passion, which is probably part of what makes Zambrano the pitcher he is. Will his passion get him into trouble sometimes? Sure. But he gives you 200 innings almost every season, and before this season's out, he'll be No. 5 on the Cubs' all-time strikeout list. So you live with the occasional freak show.