For fans of people losing their shit, Carlos Zambrano is a Godsend. Never has there been a more bipolar baseball player than Big Z. When he’s not shutting down the opposition and throwing no-hitters, he is busy racking up his ERA and destroying personal relationships and public property. While this Kenny Powers-style behavior is frowned upon by the league, fans everywhere love it, which is why this collection of video gems is enough to make any baseball fan smile.
5. Zambrano vs. Bat
One of the best hitting pitchers in the game, Carlos Zambrano is frequently utilized as a pinch hitter, and often comes through in the clutch. Other times, however, he hits like a pitcher, which apparently is a sore spot for him. Big Z has almost broken his Big Kneez on several occasions, though the coaching staff has been lenient on this issue. It may be more difficult than we think to tell a 6-foot-5, 250 pound ball of rage carrying two wooden spears that he should control his temper.
4. Gatorade Assassin
Reminiscent of that scene in Goodfellas where Henry Hill walks across the street completely calm and collected right before breaking some guy’s nose, Zambrano did an excellent job of camouflaging this meltdown. Nevertheless, the end result is big and spectacular, and made hundreds of Scorcese fans instantly YouTube this clip.
3. Z. vs. Dee Lee
Zambrano is nicknamed “The Bull,” but Derrick Lee is built like a Clydesdale. This may be why half the team got up to help intervene before this altercation turned ugly. Known for his excellent leadership skills and generally quiet demeanor, Derrick Lee proves that he’s not a pushover, and isn’t afraid to stand up to anyone no matter how clinically insane they may be.
2. Play at the Plate (ejection reversal)
In one of the most amusing ejections ever, Carlos Zambrano pulls the “I’m not out, YOU’RE out” card and ejects the umpire seconds after getting the boot himself. Unfortunately, MLB rules clearly state that players have no authority over the umpires whatsoever, and so this ejection didn’t count. Nevertheless, it did pave the way for yet another Gatorade casualty.
1. Zambrano vs. Barrett
Possibly one of the ugliest in-house altercations in professional sports ever, Michael Barrett winds up on the short end of Carlos Zambrano’s patience. While Barrett committed a run-scoring throwing error in the top half of the inning, the Cubs were already down 4 runs at the time of the incident. Apparently Z did not know, or want to know, this fact, as it resulted in a brawl and the eventual trade of Michael Barrett to the Braves.
Whether or not the Cubs choose to keep Carlos Zambrano for the remainder of his contract or choose to eat a huge piece of his $95 million contract and try for a trade remains to be seen. One thing that is for sure; as long as Big Z is in the Big Leagues, his unpredictable temper and potential for amazing results makes him a player worth watching, no matter which way the Gatorade lid lands.