By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) The always interesting and sometimes unacceptable Carlos Zambrano made a brief appearance at Wrigley field during batting practice Friday. His official connection to the team ended on Aug. 12, 2011 when he walked out on the Cubs in Atlanta. In town now for a WSCR-sponsored event Saturday, Zambrano was his usual provocative self.
“It is not my fault (now),” Zambrano said in reference to the Cubs’ last-place status the last three seasons since he left Chicago.
Zambrano is now retired from baseball after an aborted attempt to return to form the last two years.
“I live in Miami now and I an in business,” he said. “I do not watch any baseball at all. I fish and golf. I am enjoying life.”
The former star pitcher won 120 games as a Cubs pitcher and left a wake of memories both good and bad for fans to remember. A hyperactive temper would occasionally overheat and cause much physical and mental damage.
No one will ever forget his blowups with teammates in the dugout (Michael Barrett and Derrek Lee), as well as his long home runs (franchise-high 22 for a pitcher) and outstanding pitching performances (a no-hitter in Milwaukee in 2008, the Cubs’ first in 36 years).
“I miss Chicago and so does my family,” Zambrano said. “Whenever I ask my children where they want to go on vacation, they always say Chicago. They grew up here. They love it.”
Zambrano said he hasn’t been asked to come back for any Cubs-related promotions or events. He also said he talks to former Cubs icon Sammy Sosa on occasion.
“Not lately,” Zambrano said on his conversations with Sosa. “We text sometimes. He lives in Miami.”
In Zambrano’s last appearance for the Cubs in 2011, he gave up a franchise-record five home runs in 4 1/3 innings to the Braves, stormed off the field and cleared out his locker. He tried to return to the team and apologize, but he was suspended and never pitched for Chicago again. He finished his career with the Marlins in 2012.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.