I’ll give you a few seconds to re-adjust your eyes after looking at the picture of Carlos Zambrano. If you you are a Cubs’ fan reading this article, then you may have begun by rubbing your eyes. Reason being up to this point, when Carlos Zambrano has been discussed it usually is because something he did while a member of the Cubs’ organization. This is not a review of Zambrano’s time with the Cubs. There is not nearly enough space nor time to discuss the highs and lows of Zambrano’s career with the Cubs. Rather, this article is meant simply for the purpose of recognizing that for the first time since Zambrano walked out on his Cubs’ teammates last August, the starting pitcher and the Cubs are once again under the same roof.
When President Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer joined the Cubs’ organization, both outlined a way for Zambrano to earn his way back onto the Cubs’ 25 man roster. Epstein and Hoyer stated that Zambrano would first have to earn the trust of his teammates and coaching staff, and then prove with his performance in Spring Training that he deserves yet another opportunity with the Cubs. Zambrano never got that chance. Despite praising Zambrano for his off-season conduct at every turn, behind the scenes, Epstein and Hoyer may have been shopping the right hander. That resulted in Zambrano being traded to the Miami Marlins for starting pitcher Chris Volstad. Volstad is now a member of the Cubs’ starting rotation, and Zambrano is pitching out of the Marlins’ rotation.
At the time of the trade, many around the Cubs’ organization praised the move. Reasoning being that gone from the Cubs’ clubhouse was the starting pitcher in Zambrano that has caused multiple headaches, controversies, and tension among teammates. Replacing him was a pitcher in Chris Volstad that was the exact opposite of Zambrano, Volstad’s participation in his High School choir could be evidence of that. No longer would the likes of Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Ryan Dempster be forced to talk about the poor conduct of one of their teammates. Rather for the first time in a long time, the Cubs have clubhouse that no longer includes Zambrano.
Towards the end of Zambrano’s time with the Cubs, it appeared that there was tension between Zambrano and the rest of his teammates. Alfonso Soriano may have been the most outspoken about Zambrano’s antics as the left fielder did not disguise any hard feelings that he had towards Zambrano. But what is in the past is in the past. Much like reminiscing about the Jim Hendry era should be frowned upon, looking at what wrong between Zambrano and the Cubs should be treated in the same fashion.
The old regime is behind us. The new regime is present, and along with them is a new concept to the Cubs that is called accountability.