Watch: Carlos Zambrano in the middle of brawl at Venezuelan Winter League
Carlos Zambrano hasn’t pitched in the majors since Sept. 21, 2012, partly due to a reputation for bad behavior. From the looks of things, he’s still having trouble controlling his temper.
During Saturday night’s Game 3 of the Venezuelan Winter League championship series, Zambrano came off the bench and inserted himself in the middle of a bench-clearing brawl. In the top of the sixth inning, Zambrano’s teammate, Robinson Chiniros, hit his second homer of the game to give Navegantes del Magallanes a 6-1 lead over Caribes de Anzoátegui. Caribes pitcher Mayckol Guaipe apparently wasn’t happy with the length of time that Chiniros spent admiring his towering solo shot; after the next batter, Ezequiel Carrerra, showed bunt on a 1-1 pitch, the righty drilled him in the ribs. Zambrano charged out of the Magallanes dugout and took some wild swings before being restrained by teammates.
Above is the full video of the game — which Magellanes won to take a 3-games-to-0 lead in the best-of-seven series — from Livestream. Chiniros’ homer comes just after the 2:12:00 mark, and the brouhaha starts about two minutes later:
Zambrano earned All-Star honors three times during his 11 years with the Cubs (2001-11), but he gained infamy for his penchant for high-profile outbursts, including a 2007 dugout brawl with teammate Michael Barrett, a 2009 suspension for bumping an umpire, a 2010 suspension by the Cubs following another dugout altercation and a 2011ban by the team after an ejection followed by his cleaning out his locker and declaring his intention to retire.
The Cubs were so eager to be rid of Zambrano that they traded him to the Marlins prior to the 2012 season and ate $15.5 million of the $18 million remaining on his $91.5 million deal. With Miami, he threw 132 1/3 innings while posting a 4.49 ERA and 5.1 walks per nine. The combination of his declining skills and his reputation left him looking for work once his big contract was up, and while he signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies last May, he never got the call from the big club despite putting up a 2.04 ERA in seven starts at three different levels. He’s again looking for work and made nine starts in Venezuela this winter, putting up a 4.93 ERA and a 25/23 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 42 innings. He hasn’t pitched since Dec. 26.