Carlos Zambrano became the latest Cub to put himself in line for a suspension by Major League Baseball for his conduct in today's game.
After uncorking a wild pitch, Zambrano thought he had tagged Nyjer Morgan, who was racing down from third base. Umpire Mark Carlson called Morgan safe, and Zambrano went ballistic. He got into Carlson's face and then bumped him with his shouder or forearm, earning the heave-ho. Then, Zambrano made a show of things. He signaled that he had thrown Carlson out of the game. He tossed the ball into left field and then flung his glove against the dugout screen. He finished by taking a bat to the Gatorade fountain in the dugout. (Putting the fountain there was inviting that kind of stuff; Ryan Dempster punched it out the other day.)
Figure Zambrano to miss at least 1 start with a suspension. Lefty Ted Lilly may get something for jumping the dugout fence the other night to take on umpire Bob Davidson, getting himself tossed. Already, Milton Bradley has been suspended for two games (reduced to one) for an argument in April with ump Larry Vanover.
GM Jim Hendry defended Ted today, saying he liked his players showing emotion and that arguments are part of the game.
Maybe so, but this bunch of Cubs is starting to look an awful lot like the unlikeable bunch from 2004, which had problems with umpires all season. I expect to see umpire supervisor Marty Sprinstead here for the weekend series. In '04, Marty spent his time in the press box shaking his head over the Cubs' behavior.
Lou and Jim got to get a handle on this.