Don’t call it a comeback, Carlos Zambrano has been threatening to retire for years.
The former Chicago Cubs pitcher has told fans and the media he’s retiring on more than one occasion and, still, there he is, pitching in the World Baseball Classic. Surely you remember when he cleaned out his locker and walked out on the team in 2011, but do you recall the comments he made in the seasons preceding that?
Here’s what “Big Z” told ESPN back in 2010:
I told you the other day, this will be my last contract,” Zambrano said. “This will be my last contract. I won’t be playing anymore. I don’t want to play anymore. Life is short. Sometimes you miss things with your family, like very important people, like my daughter. Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn’t miss. I want to be there any moment for my daughter and my family. Baseball takes a lot of time away from us."
And the year prior? Here’s what he told the Chicago Tribune in 2009:
After this contract, I’m gone,” [Zambrano] said. “I’ll betcha $100. I’m serious.”
Why you ask?
Because I don’t want to play,” he said. “I want to help this team. I want to do everything possible to win with this team. And after five years, four years, or whatever is left on my contract. You know how many Mother’s Days I haven’t spent with my mother? Twelve. You know how many things I’ve been [missing] in my life? It’s good to be here, it’s good to play baseball. But in five years…I will retire. And I won’t have to see you anymore.”
Zambrano was traded to the Miami Marlins before the 2012 season and currently, you guessed it, the 31-year-old (he seems older, right?) is out there hoping to get another contract.
No one seems to want to take a chance on the 31-year-old and he, well, he doesn’t want to pitch in Asia. It may be time to hang them up. Help get Venezuela to the finals of the WBC and call it a career.
Otherwise, dude’s gonna owe Tribune reporter Paul Sullivan a cool hundred.
***Inspiration and quotes stolen from Justin Jabs.***