Once again, Carlos Zambrano is persona non grata in the Cubs clubhouse.  He was suspended for 30 days without pay following his most recent blowup.  After giving up five home runs against the Atlanta Braves, he began using Atlanta icon Chipper Jones as target practice before getting ejected from the game.  Mind you, Jones wasn’t even one of the guys who hit a homer.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry took the somewhat unusual step of apologizing to Jones (via Braves GM Frank Wren) for the incident.

This isn’t the first blowup for Zambrano.  He has a long history of failing to control his temper.  The problem with baseball’s guaranteed contracts is that it’s very difficult for a team to part ways with a problem player.  If the Cubs were to release Zambrano, they’d still be on the hook for his contract of $18 million+ next year.

Zambrano’s statistics put him in the “potential hall of famer” category.  If he pitches until he is 40, he could surpass 250 career wins and even make a run at 300.  However, he needs to stay focused and remain on the field for this to happen.  I sincerely hope Zambrano can put his anger issues behind him.  He’s making $18 million per year – hire a personal psychiatrist to travel with him during the season.

Sad day for the Huskers

Last night was the deadline to sign baseball draftees.  The future of Nebraska football took a hit when multi-sport star Bubba Starling signed with the Kansas City Royals, dashing the dreams of Husker fans who envisioned him behind center for the Nebraska football team.  Starling, the 5th overall pick in the draft, used his status as a football player as leverage in negotiations and was able to secure a $7.5 million signing bonus.  I have suggested the nickname of “Clarice” for the newest member of the Royal family.

The Pirates signed top overall pick Gerrit Cole to an $8 million bonus.  Interestingly, Cole was drafted in the first round by the Yankees in 2008, but failed to come to terms with the team and elected to go to college instead.  Imagine that – the Yankees losing a player to the Pirates because they wouldn’t pay the money.

Thome Hits #600

Jim Thome of the Twins reached the 600 home run plateau last night.  There wasn’t much publicity leading up to the event, other than a handful of articles pointing out that there wasn’t much publicity leading up to the event.  Thome is generally regarded as one on the nicest guys in baseball, and this might be working against him.  You never read news stories about him criticizing teammates or getting into a fight at a strip club.  He just goes to work and does his job every day.  Congratulations to the most low-key future Hall of Famer you’re likely to encounter.

49ers Add Seasoning With ‘Pepper?

The 49ers worked out quarterback Duante Culpepper on Monday, with an eye toward possibly adding him to the roster.  I was a fan of Culpepper when he was leading the high octane Vikings offense, and I still like the guy.  I think it would be smart for the 49ers to add Culpepper to their group of quarterbacks.  It’s a low risk, high reward situations.  Hoping for a triumphant return for Duante!

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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