[Zambrano declares declares home plate the “people’s plate” at Wrigley.]
Carlos Zambrano this afternoon offered the kind of Wrigley meltdown that Chicago sporting scribes have been predicting Lou Piniella would throw, and should throw, for three years running “ and that Milton Bradley would inevitably throw every day. Even MB himself commented that “It was on a Bradley level.” Umpire Mark Carlson called Pittsburgh’s Nyler Morgan safe after a wild pitch from Zambrano, which allowed Morgan to score from 3rd. Video backs up Justice Carlson on this, but Zambrano offered a dissenting opinion. Zambrano’s flare up got him kicked out of the game, which he quickly responded to by throwing Carlson out of the game, as seen here.
[Zambrano puts The Whole Damn System on trial.]
Paul Sullivan reports the game, and Z’s prodigal return to the North Side “ and even got a quote out of Milton Bradley, here:
“That was pretty impressive,” Bradley said. “It was on a Bradley level.”
That it was, and soon the Cubs will find out whether or not Zambrano’s tantrum will be grounds for suspension.
After arguing with plate umpire Mark Carlson after Nyjer Morgan stuck his left hand around Zambrano’s tag to score the tying run in the seventh inning, Zambrano made contact with Carlson, putting his shoulder into the umpire.
Zambrano could be suspended for as many as 10 games for his conduct, depending on the review of the umpire’s report to Major League Baseball.
“I’m a competitor and I think he was out, but that was his call,” Zambrano said. “I over-exaggerated after that play to throw the ball [into left-center field] and to do the other things. But hopefully MLB will review the play and we’ll see what happens.”
Zambrano would not discuss whether he made contact, though the Cubs insisted it was Carlson who initiated the contact.
“If you look at the film the umpire sort of walks in a little bit,” manager Lou Piniella said. “The league makes that determination, but you’ve got to be more careful than that.”
Carlson was not available after the game. Crew chief Tim Tschida confirmed a report was being sent to MLB, but declined to comment.
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto said he couldn’t keep Zambrano from getting into Carlson’s face.
“I was kind of far away,” he said. “I was disappointed at the call, and when I looked, he was already tossed.”
Even after his crazy routine with Carlson, where he pretended to be thumbing the umpire out of the game after he’d been ejected, Zambrano was not finished. No, in fact, he was just starting.
First he launched the ball towards the left field warning track.
“I was kind of disappointed,” Reed Johnson said. “I thought it was going to go up into the stands. The wind was blowing in today.”