6/25 Zambrano suspended indefinitely
Carlos Zambrano was suspended indefinitely after throwing a tantrum in the dugout, apparently upset over his teammates’ lack of effort on defensive plays behind him.
“His conduct was not acceptable,” GM Jim Hendry said. “His actions toward his teammates and staff were not acceptable. He will not be at the ballpark [Saturday]. We’ll play with 24 [players]. … From my point of view, we’ll play with 24 before we tolerate that kind of behavior.”
Hendry said there’s no timetable for the suspension because both Major League Baseball and the Players Association have to investigate the incident. Zambrano will not be at U.S. Celluar Field on Saturday for the second game of the Interleague series. When a player is suspended, the team is not allowed to replace that player on the 25-man roster during the pending investigation.
“It was unacceptable behavior is what it was,” Lou Piniella said. “He was upset that some of our players didn’t dive for those balls. A few of those balls were hit really hard and one of those balls was in the seats with two strikes.
“Regardless, he was ranting and raving and out of control,” Piniella said. “We just couldn’t tolerate that. We told him to go back in [to the clubhouse].”
Before exiting, Zambrano threw a cooler and some cups, drawing cheers from the fans who could see into the Cubs dugout. Piniella told Zambrano to go home and Hendry talked to the pitcher on the phone, not face to face. The conversation was short and Zambrano did not apologize for his behavior.
“There wasn’t time for apologies,” Hendry said.
— Carrie Muskat