The concern isn't whether Carlos Zambrano can be a substantial element for a lackluster ballclub, but it's whether he can be civilized and accept the role of the finest pitcher in a shell-shocked pitching rotation.

The palpable surmise is, he can't conduct himself and loses self-control with his typical outbursts and dugout tirades, jawing at teammates amid a feud that eventually turns into barbaric tussles. What we're watching is a wacko lose his mind and throw tantrums as probably the biggest bust in Cubs history, a ballclub believed to be curse that an untaught fan base blame Chicago's 104-year championship drought on The Curse of the Billy Goat.

Maybe now, a distraught fan realizes it wasn't only Steve Bartman's fault when the disowned fan isn't permitted to show his face in public without being hackled or violently harassed. The residents in Chicago couldn't stop criticizing Bartman for the nightmarish disaster that turned rampant when he indiscreetly interfered with the nefarious foul ball he deflected.

But after the latest events of Friday night, another meltdown that could permanently damage his career with his childish immaturity dragging down the Cubs, a ballclub doomed by a downcast era, Zambrano is a toxic waste hovering over a defunct franchise that seems to have no discipline nor the upper hand.

The Rickettes epitaph merely describes in writing, no doubt, that the family's plans are very elusive and that general manager Jim Hendry, who has dismantled the Cubs, botches personnel decisions in bringing together a group of incredible depth but overpaid, no-good, psychotic busts like Zambrano and the aforementioned cancer Milton Bradley.

It's curious enough that one of the finest ballclubs is traditionally, in retrospect, the poorest major league organization in baseball and it's almost laughable for the country to point fingers at the once dignified team in Chi-Town most admired dearly. We are no longer captivated by the Cubs or even crazy about the Cubbies, but in the futility of Chicago baseball, a twinge of misadventures and unethical antics whenever Zambrano takes the mound to behave like a buffoon with no value is destroying the Cubs' imagery and tearing down the warmth.

This is Zambrano in the aging point of his career misbehaving and carrying on unprofessionally, with no morals or strong judgment to cool down and stay compose while on the mound where he has been unsuccessful. He's too hot-headed. He's too petulant. He's too damn angry. His name is involved in too many incidents, too many on-the-field outburst, too many postgame tirades and too many apologies to clear his name of such infamy but then eventually repeat subsequent actions.

And yet, as it stands, Zambrano has not been blackballed from the majors, but more importantly, the Cubs have not contemplated to potentially void his deal with another $18 million left on his contract -- despite that the deal expires after next season when his marketability will be devalued. He almost surely won't return wearing a Cubs uniform next spring.

It was finally a bit of news for the Cubs, turning all the attention toward the red flags that has inhibited the team from producing quality wins, after he clearly had a meltdown against the Braves and threw at Chipper Jones, which prompted an ejection that sent him into the clubhouse early. There's no escaping it, there's no sugarcoating that he can be given possibly a six-game suspension for intentionally throwing at one of the more respected veterans in the game.

The punishment, which should remind him that he's fortunate still to be a participant in a pitching lineup for a major league team, could change his temperamental attitude or either he'll self-destruct. The trust in Zambrano reeks and he's hardly a gracious pitcher that the Cubs now regret ever bringing in and signing to a large contract in a matter of investing too much money.

Under this present state, particularly if this trend continues to be a heavy burden, Zambrano won't be wearing a Cubs uniform much longer. It won't be long before he's released from the Cubs for turning Wrigley Field into a mental asylum, for turning on his teammates and the organization and for his detriment to the team. It's pathetic enough that he's a bigger nuisance than an accessory when the Cubs are burned out of the failures that clearly won't end this decade, maybe not even next decade -- but years from now.

Every season, he is losing his mind by carrying himself like a nutcase and not a beneficiary in the pitching department, leaving his teammates and attacking umpires. Every season, he is raging and slamming an unprotected Gatorade water cooler, mad with the world if the game never finishes his way.

This time, he doesn't believe he's a cancer, a saboteur amidst the controversy from the recent episode when he stormed off the field and gave up on the Cubs and cleaned out his locker, telling friends he was retiring Friday night after yielding five home runs and getting tossed in a dismal 10-4 loss to the Braves. The worshippers believe Zambrano's departure would be a less headache, and now it becomes a media campaign, a heinous circus and mystery to see whether or not Zambrano will ever again play as a member of the Cubs.

It is overwhelming and emotional in the aftermath of provoking a benches-clearing altercation and unnecessarily throwing directly at Jones to explode as usual and be a clown, not a mature veteran with excellent leadership qualities. And now, of course, he is not only losing his mind but his capacity entirely and, more than ever, his composure to deal with a dreadful loss finding an egregious outlet to release his anger.

Poorly handling a situation just expose Zambrano's weaknesses, and sadly, he looks like a childish clown lacking sense as a older player in the league who has plenty of experience and know-how when he produce his best stuff on the mound.

Rarely does he pitch brilliantly, but these days he acts showily and can take on another career in acting by his optimal entertainment to either annoy or fuel the crowd at Wrigleyville that visits one of the oldest ballparks for only the beer, the scrumptious food and the seventh inning stretch singing.

The sense is that Zambrano, once a promising star expected to uplift the Cubs and turn around the groundwork, a component which was lost as soon as Chicago crumbled into a doleful period, regardless of the talent the team brought in to curtail the woes, is ruining his relationship with the Cubs as the team is losing respect for him.

The potential move is eventually coming, a moment when the organization is presumed to cut ties with the irritable and indignant bust. And amid all the rumbling, he certainly has disgraced his name and stature, the way people perceive him and might have dented a long-term contract in the future with other ballclubs as it would be a risky marriage and burden to give a heap of attention to a troubled pitcher, grasping that he can explode at anytime if the team is underachieving.

Not surprisingly, he raises far more questions and, at this very moment, it's hard to tell how it will all play out. The criticism isn't too kind these days, as far as it seems for Zambrano and really when he explodes and snaps on the field. He is viewed provocative and dangerous to the human race, an awful role model to children yet he adopted a kid from Guatemala during the All-Star break, criticized by Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune.

It can also be an understanding that he's meticulous when he wants to be, but only when he has the desire to care about leading the club to a win. Otherwise, he's just the petulant, hot-headed idiot, causing trouble inside the Cubs' clubhouse by the infighting feuds. It's not a season that progress without Zambrano losing his temper, arguing with teammates and management while on a short fuse as he is easily combustible, a mannerism that could poison a whole clubhouse if the players aren't strong enough or able to downplay negativity.

Judging by his actions, he's a blasphemous, heartless player and worthless to any team's pitching staff, not in the right state of mind to handle the adversity. He is suddenly easygoing and merciful, ready to repair his image by some accounts, showing true remorse for once in his controversial career?

And so Zambrano tries to seek help from the union, the Major League Baseball Player Association, in hopes to save his name in its entirety when he filed a union grievance against the Cubs. What he has essentially done is asked for a paycheck, now serving a suspension for a minimum 30 days after been placed on the Disqualified List, unable to pocket his $18 million per salary.

That being said, his future isn't too bright or hopeful with the Cubs and he might be playing elsewhere by next season, as an ugly divorce could separate Zambrano and the Cubs, a bad relationship that turned godawful. And then, if there's one person unhappy, it's manager Mike Quade glancing past Zambrano. He, too, has lost patience and tolerance with the deplorable ace who never really was an ace, but an overpaid bust and fooled the Cubs by doing so when Hendry is clearly the one to blame for Zam-Busto's large salary.

It's just too often that his tempers flare. And it's now obvious that the Cubs and Zam-Busto have parted ways emotionally and physically in many ways. He's not worth the headache for any team.


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