Carlos Zambrano: Can Big Z Make a Comeback With the Chicago Dogs? (Here's What I'm Worried About...) by Mike Prochaska
Carlos Zambrano, also known as Big Z, has just signed a deal with the Chicago Dogs baseball team. The Chicago Dogs play in Rosemont, Ill., and are a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Do you think Big Z can make a comeback at the age of 37 as a reliever?
Zambrano believes God told him it was time to try baseball again. I personally would love to see him pitch again, but wonder if he has his anger issues under control. Big Z will be remembered as one of the most energetic, craziest Chicago Cubs pitchers. When he was pitching good, he was amazing. But when he was having an bad day, he would lose his cool! I remember watching him beat up many water coolers after a bad day pitching.
I also remember my wife staying awake all night at a Cubs convention because she couldn’t wait to meet Big Z in the morning. In person he seemed relaxed and was nice to talk to. But it was the Cubs convention, so who knows if he was putting on a game face.
I will also never forget the day Big Z punched out his own catcher, Michael Barrett, in a game in 2007. The Cubs were in the middle of losing their fifth straight game when starter Zambrano was knocked around during the fifth inning.
Big Z and Barrett argued in the dugout afterward and Barrett pointed to the scoreboard, suggesting it was Big Z's fault and not his own. An angry Zambrano suddenly punched Barrett in the face and the two scuffled before teammates broke it up. The coach sent Barrett to the clubhouse, but Zambrano followed him down the tunnel.
Barrett made another remark that sent Zambrano into another rage, prompting round two of their fight and sending Barrett to the hospital with a cut lip, a blackened left eye and scrape marks on his cheek.
I also remember that he pitched a no-hitter against the Houston Astros on September 14, 2008 at Miller Park. (The Astros were playing the Cubs at Miller Park because of a hurricane that hit Texas.)
Photo: NBC Chicago
Zambrano was known as one of the best hitting pitchers of recent times. He was a switch-hitter with a career .238 batting average with 24 home runs, 71 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .396. He is one of only two National League pitchers to have won at least 13 games in each year from 2003–2007, the other being former teammate, Greg Maddux. In 2006, he became the first player from Venezuela to lead the National League in wins.
But the poor water cooler. Whenever Big Z would get angry he would take it out on the water cooler. I wish Big Z good luck in his return to baseball. I just hope he has his angry under control.
What do you think about Big Z’s return to baseball?
Photo (main): Bleacher Nation Twitter
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