Zambrano Fails to Apologize to Starving Children

When do they get their dinner, Carlos? And when do they get their apology?

I said yesterday that Carlos Zambrano said all the right things in his apology to the fans and his general statement that everything about his dugout tirade was wrong, but that was before I had all the facts. It has since come out that Zambrano has yet to apologize to the Cubs as a congregation. He hasn’t even embroidered all his shirts and jerseys with the scarlet A for Anger as ordered by Pastor Morrissey.

Sure, Zambrano has apologized to players individually, but what about the team as a whole? What about the Wrigley Field ambassadors? What about the children? Never mind the convenient fact that Zambrano has been separated from the Cubs by an average of 1,000 miles since he was suspended. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s apologizing in the absolute wrong order.

The first person he needed to apologize to was obvious, but whether he did that or not is between him and DeRosa. After that, he should have apologized to Derrek Lee. Okay, he did that, too, but only once? Another 99 are in order, and they should all be in public and/or under the supervision of a priest. Next comes his teammates, coaches, agents, and every innocent bystander.

Next he should have apologized to the media, starting with the white guys. Sullivan, Morrisey, Telander, Wittenmyer, Kaplan: these guys feared for their lives when Zambrano’s rage boiled over. No, he didn’t hurt anybody—this time—but he looked like he wanted to. The fact that he made his apology in an interview with Pedro Gomez won’t be lost on them. You could cut the racial tension with a knife, which is exactly what the Chicago sports media is afraid of.

But the most overlooked group on Zambrano’s apology waiting list, with its chronology screwed up beyond even Quentin Tarantino’s comprehension, are the millions of starving children around the world. While they looked on in horror, the biggest, whiniest, most spoiled child of them all went out to dinner with the manager of the opposing team. Zambrano stuffed his petulant face with dinner, completely deaf to the rumbling empty stomachs of those less fortunate than himself.

But himself is all Zambrano thinks about. He’s sorry. He was wrong. He is embarrassed by his actions. He is trying to improve the way he handles his anger. Selfish, racist, diva. This apology was all about him. The families of the victims of the Hindenburg disaster? Never even crossed Zambrano’s mind.

19 Replies to “Zambrano Fails to Apologize to Starving Children”

  1. I couldn't take the radio anymore this morning. I just couldn't. I mean, I don't even like Big Z and I couldn't take it anymore. Someone needs to tell JD to stick to the Bears beat…

  2. I get where you're going with this and it's funny and all, but I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that Zambrano should have addressed all of his teammates first before appearing on a massive national sports media network. Yeah, he apologized to DLee, which was nice. But his actions didn't affect only Derrek Lee. A team leader blowing up like that affects the entire team. (And the Cubs are a team, right?) Everyone in that dugout deserved an apology – a private apology – before Carlos had his Barbara Walters moment. I really don't care if he apologizes to me as a fan or the media or any of those other parties you hyperbolically mentioned – and, quite frankly, it's pretty presumptuous of you to assume that that's what many of us are saying.

  3. I respect your opinion, but I do not understand it. Did he apologize to too many people or not enough? How exactly did conducting an interview in which he apologizes profusely do any damage to the team? If he cut someone off in line at the grocery store, would it have been inappropriate to apologize to that person before he apologized to his team? Where did the idea that he needed to assume a vow of silence until he returned to the team before he could begin apologizing? What difference does it make what order the apologies come? I haven't heard anyone supply a single reason why that's important. It's certainly not self-explanatory, at least not to me.

    And this idea that he appeared on a national sports media network is overblown. He gave an interview to one guy, one camera. Yeah, he knew it would be aired on ESPN, but guess what has been airing on ESPN and every other outlet covering the Cubs? Video of him yelling. He yelled for about a minute, but the footage has been rebroadcast for a total of about 250 years if you combine every time it's been replayed on hundreds of different channels. He's not allowed to talk before meeting with his team? Help me understand how that's reasonable.

    Also, I don't understand what I'm assuming or presuming or who many of us are. I satirically listed other things that I thought would be irrational, but I don't think it's wrong to make people consider where their angst might be misdirected a bit.

  4. Nonetheless, I appreciate the thoughts. I would agree with people who say, "Hey, he still owes his team an apology." But the idea that issuing an apology through the media beforehand is tantamount to betrayal or self-promotion is far-fetched.

  5. I never said the interview damaged the team (this year's squad appears beyond repair anyway), but it was disrespectful. Simple protocol: FIRST you apologize to your teammates THEN you talk to the media. Doing this would have been a simple, respectful way to make amends with the human beings with whom he works – y'know, the guys he was apparently ripping into during the dugout tirade? Going to ESPN first only makes Z look like a selfish diva who cares more about what the public thinks than what all of his teammates do (not just DLee). And you appear to be presuming that everyone who criticizes Z's handling of this incident wants X, Y and Z. I'm just saying that, if Z really wanted to show the Cubs – as a team – that he's serious about putting an end to these embarassing and disruptive episodes, he would have gone to the team first then the media. Honestly, I'm fine with the content of his apology; I guess we just disagree on whether the order of things matter. I think they do. But what's done is done.

  6. I guess I'm presuming correctly, then. That basic assumption that there's an established protocol for dugout tirade apology order doesn't make sense to me. It's a matter Dear Abby might cover in an advice column, not one there's a definitive answer to or that is worth getting riled up about. Maybe talking to his team would have been better; maybe prefacing it with a public display of contrition more effectively sets the stage for an apology to his team. Maybe the Cub front office orchestrated the whole thing; maybe Zambrano defied their wishes. Either way, the outrage over this apology is laughable.

    Imagine any person in the world: a Cubs player, a Cubs fan, a Tibetan monk, sitting down, arms folded, angry grimace stitched into his or her face. Someone walks up and says, "What's bothering you?" The angry person says, "Carlos Zambrano issued a public apology without talking to his teammates first." I would think that most rational people would agree that the angry person deserves to be mocked.

    And so I mock.

  7. And just to be clear, maybe for the first time ever, I'm not mocking people who think this was the wrong approach, per se. I'm mocking the people incensed by it. The fabricated moral outrage is silly.

  8. For saying this?

    "I saw a little bit of [the ESPN interview]," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Monday of Zambrano's comments. "I'm sure he's contrite, and I'm sure he's looking forward to coming back, but the important thing remains that he talk to his teammates."

    Or this?

    "I said that time heals wounds, and that's exactly what has happened, but I'm sure his teammates want to hear what he has to say, and we'll go from there," Piniella said Monday. "With time, you tend to forgive and forget."

    Seeing as though he neither said that he was angry or that he thought Zambrano apologized in the wrong order, no, not at all. If someone were to infer from that comment that Lou was angry at Z for apologizing through ESPN, yes, I would strongly consider mocking that person, especially if that person had also read this:

    "I don't like to lie," Zambrano said. "I wanted to do this way before this time. I wanted to come to the clubhouse and apologize and talk to my teammates."

    Zambrano spoke to ESPN because he was frustrated that he could not speak to the players. He said he's eager to make amends.

    Should I start now, or . . . ?

  9. OK, well, sure. Get to your work on your next blogpost mocking a guy who, unlike you (presumably) or me (admittedly) has actually been inside the Cubs clubhouse: Bruce Miles of The Daily Herald: (read the first few comments).

    And I've written more about Lou raising the issue in that quote and Z's decision to go on ESPN yesterday in my latest VFTB post:

    I find it strange that you seem to be willfully denying that there's a long-standing culture – and protocol – among big league ballplayers that you put your teammates before the media. But, hey, it's certainly interesting to talk about.

  10. Yeah, Bruce seemed violently upset about the matter. He was so upset, I can't believe he was able to meet any deadlines. Have you checked on him lately? Is he answering his phone? I wouldn't want to be the first person to talk to him.

    I kid, but come on, reread the comments here, please? I have told you I don't have a problem with people thinking Z made a bad move, although I completely disagree with yours and Bruce Miles's take–shockingly, I don't think entering the Cubs clubhouse makes someone smarter. But if you think it was a bad move, fine. If you or Bruce are so appalled by it that it fills you with rage, I think that's perfectly silly.

    And sitting down for an interview and apologizing profusely does not amount to putting the media before teammates. You disagree, and that's fine, but you're disagreeing over semantics, not the longstanding protocols among baseball players. He didn't apologize to the media, he apologized through the media.

    Also, you can't honestly believe that Lou just raised the issue to a bunch of reporters. That wasn't Lou holding an hour-long special during which he revealed his opinion on Carlos's apology. Don't you think it's more likely that someone asked him, "Hey, Lou, did you see Carlos's apology?"

    This whole issue is ridiculous. The guy apologized. Spare me the overwrought reactions.

  11. I'm not disagreeing over semantics – I'm disagreeing on the simple protocol of an apology. Why would Carlos Zambrano need to apologize through the media? He's a member of the freakin' team! He'll be in the visitor's clubhouse at Mile High Stadium on Friday. He couldn't wait four days to apologize to his teammates in person – y'know, in person? By the way, in case you only read Bruce's comment, he just put up a full post about the matter. It contains a few more interesting details:

    But, hey, if you think you know better than a guy who's been interacting with Cubs players in the clubhouse for over 10 years (he doesn't just walk in), that's your right as an American.

  12. I sometimes cannot believe what the media chooses to focus on these days-the fact that they spend more time analyzing Zambrano's antics and apologies than the game itself is ridiculous. While I would agree that Z should have addressed the team first instead of ESPN, does this really matter much to the rest of the world other than the Cubs players themselves? No. Give it a rest, Phil Rogers and others. They are simply trying to make this into news since probably most everyone else couldn't care less.

  13. Yeah, I just read that. And I'm gonna have to stick with Bruce on this one. Just because a given position is taken up by the mainstream media doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. To be honest, I haven't read Sullivan's take on this or Rosenbloom or whoever else has weighed in. I don't read any analysis in the mainstream media unless I absolutely have to. My comments on Twitter and here come purely from my own gut reaction. And I'm really not outraged about anything – I just feel like there was a right way and a wrong way for Z to handle this and, not surprisingly, he took the wrong way. But, as the ACB guys so aptly point out, he's Carlos Zambrano and he can do whatever the fuck he wants (dying laughing) – or however they put it.

  14. After last night I'm guessing Ted Lilly might not mind a trade to a team that will actually score for him! 🙂

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