Flashback #97: Zambrano Ejected, Threatens Retirement (2011)
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As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.
August 12, 2011 – Zambrano ejected, threatens to retire from baseball
We had seen Carlos Zambrano freak out before, but it had never gotten to this point.
Cubs fans were familiar with his profanity-laced tirades and his fights with teammates, but he’d never done this before.
In a mid-August game against the Braves, Zambrano struggled, surrending a career-high five home runs. He had given up eight runs on eight hits, but he wasn’t finished there.
After home runs from Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla, Zambrano threw two pitches inside, nearly hitting Chipper Jones. When Geovany Soto caught the second inside pitch, home plate umpire Tim Timmons ejected Zambrano.
Instead of walking to the clubhouse and waiting for the game to end, Zambrano cleaned out his locker in the visitor’s club house of Tuner Field and walked out on his club. Reports indicate Zambrano told clubhouse personnel he was retiring from baseball.
“I’m really disappointed,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said after the game. “His locker is empty. He walked out on 24 guys … I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing.
“He’s talking about retiring … but I can’t have a guy walking out on 24 guys.”
Zambrano was later placed on the disqualified list. Once new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein took over, the troubled pitcher was traded to Miami with the Cubs eating $15 million of the $18 million left on his contract.
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