Zambrano Ejected, Gets Money's Worth
Whether you love him or hate him -- and there's likely no middle ground since he's so polarizing -- you have to admit one thing about Carlos Zambrano: He's entertaining as all get out. Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field, Zambrano was ejected after a brief stare-down with the home plate umpire, Mark Carlson. After he was tossed, though, were the true fireworks. Check out the YouYube of the entire incident after the jump.
I'm sure Zambrano is going to face a suspension for the bump, but it will likely be only six games, meaning he gets pushed back for a start sometime in the future. I would assume if that happens, he'll appeal and say the umpire initiated the contact (really, both people did). Regardless, a six-game suspension is just a little extra rest for a starting pitcher. Zambrano's wallet should take a hit as well, and likely a significant one.
Zambrano did throw a very solid game, but obviously didn't factor into the decision as he was ejected with a tie game. The Cubs did, on the strength of a Reed Johnsonhome run, win the game, 5-2.
As far as the call, I tip my cap to Carlson. In fast motion it appeared to be an awful call, but the slow-motion replays showed that Nyjer Morgan ever-so-slightly got his fingertips on home plate before Zambrano applied the tag. It was really an illustration of how great the baseball umpires are at their jobs. The missed calls always get the press, but, for the most part, they make the correct calls on bang-bang plays. They should get more credit for calls such as this one.