7/30 Zambrano apologizes
Carlos Zambrano apologized to his teammates and Lou Piniella on Friday, saying he was embarrassed by his behavior and that it’s time to move on. The response was hugs from the Cubs players.
“I knew I had to come in front of my teammates to apologize,” Zambrano said. “I knew from the first moment, June 25, when I was upstairs [in the clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field] thinking about it that I had to come to my teammates and say something.
“It was unacceptable and not good and embarrassing to the organization and myself and the fans,” he said. “I apologize to the fans, too. I just want to move on and be at peace with everybody.”
On June 25, Zambrano threw a tantrum in the dugout after giving up four runs in the first inning against the White Sox. He was sent home and suspended for three days before being placed on the restricted list.
Zambrano did all the talking during the meeting.
“It was great,” Derrek Lee said. “He did a good job. I’m sure it was hard to do and I’m glad it’s over with. It’s all over with and behind us.”
“He explained what he did and apologized to the team,” said Alfonso Soriano, who admitted Zambrano’s tirade hasn’t been something he’s thought about much in the month since it happened.
Piniella met privately with Zambrano for 10-12 minutes.
“I thought he was very sincere with his talk in the clubhouse and very contrite,” Piniella said. “He promised to be the best teammate he could possibly be and help us win as many games as he could. We welcome him back and he’ll be in the bullpen starting tonight.”
The anger management sessions have helped, Zambrano said. He has eight or nine more sessions to go.
“So far, they’ve done a good job,” Zambrano said of the doctors he’s met with. “Obviously, I went there and I had to do it and it was good. The sessions have been a lot of exercises and very interesting.”
The Cubs had hoped to have Zambrano return on the road to ease his transition back.
“I feel bad,” Zambrano said. “I feel embarrassed and I feel bad about my conduct on June 25. I’m human and I know when I make a mistake. I know when I do things that are not right. … I have to build my way back to what I was. I promised myself and promise to the Cubs fans I will do anything possible to come back and be the same or better.”
— Carrie Muskat