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Big Z Claims Big Retirement Coming

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 16, 2010 2:20PM

To say it's been a roller coaster year for Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano would be something of an understatement. So it's understandable that he's thinking of hanging up his spikes come the end of his current contract with the team following the 2012 season. After a year that saw him get shelled on opening day, go back and forth between starting rotation and bullpen, throw a hissy fit at a teammate in the dugout during a game, then sent packing to the restricted list (and therapy), and then finally back on the rotation where he's returned to his former, sharp self on the mound ... yeah, we'd be tired and thinking about retirement, too.

After last night's win, Zambrano told reporters:

"I told you the other day, this will be my last contract. This will be my last contract. I won't be playing anymore. I don't want to play anymore. Life is short. Sometimes you miss things with your family, like very important people, like my daughter. Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn't miss. I want to be there any moment for my daughter and my family. Baseball takes a lot of time away from us."

Big Z is owed $36 million over the final two years of his current contract. Since returning to the starting rotation in early August, Z is 6-0 across eight starts with a ridiculously low ERA (somewhere in the 1.70 range). So is this another example of Zambrano being emotional? Or has he reached a new state of zen in which he really does realize the finer things in life? We won't know for two years but something tells us it won't be lacking in more drama.