There have been some overtures that Carlos Zambrano may be given an opportunity to come back to the Cubs for the final year of his contract next season. He is signed for $18 million, and that’s a lot of money in anybody’s world. But I’m going to echo Rick Telander and suggest that bringing him back doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
Zambrano’s history suggests that a meltdown, whether directed at a water cooler, his catcher, an umpire, a bat, his first baseman, the team in general, or an opponent, is only a matter of time. To pretend that there’s a leash short enough to rein in the emotions he exhibits when things don’t go his way is foolish. And I think it’s a mistake to believe Carlos can change his well-documented ways.
One of my favorite scenes from Bull Durham is when Crash Davis–Kevin Costner’s character–challenges “Nuke” Laloosh to throw the baseball at him in an alley. “Let’s see that million dollar arm, because I got a real good idea about that five-cent head of yours.” There’s a few more millions involved here, but otherwise this sentiment appears to apply quite nicely to the case of Carlos Zambrano.