Former major league pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who became more well known for his violent temper than his powerful right arm, is back in the news for all of the wrong reasons. During Game 3 of the Venezuelan Winter League championship series on Saturday night, the former Chicago Cubs ace was at the center of a bench-clearing brawl between players from Navegantes del Magallanes and Caribes de Anzoátegui.
Oddly enough, Zambrano wasn't on the field when the bad blood began to boil. It happened in the sixth inning when teammate Robinson Chiniros hit his second consecutive solo home run for Magallanes to give them a 6-1 advantage. It was an absolutely massive blast that cleared the bleachers in left field and only remained in the ballpark because it struck some signage. Chiniros, knowing he got every bit of it, admired his work for a few seconds, which drew the ire of Caribes pitcher Mayckol Guaipe.
Nothing came of it immediately. However, after the following batter, Ezequiel Carrera, showed bunt on a 1-1 pitch, Guiape's next offering "got away" and hit Carrera squarely in the ribs. After some words were exchanged, the benches quickly emptied and chaos ensued. Leading the charge from Magallanes' third base dugout was Zambrano, and his actions that followed can only be described as ugly.
And maybe a little scary.
Zambrano took wild swings at anyone and anything that got in his path. Thankfully, no punches landed hard enough to make a dent in the opposition. In fact, no injuries were reported as a direct result of the brawl, though it's worth noting San Francisco Giants star Pablo Sandoval tweaked his leg later in the game while running out a grounder.
A video of the entire game can be viewed below or at this link. The pre-brawl activity begins at the 2:10:00 mark.
The ability to control his temper has always been Zambrano's biggest downfall. We've seen him take out his frustrations in a violent rage against vending machines, and on more than one occasion he's gotten into heated arguments with teammates in the dugout. In one instance, Zambrano got into a scuffle with catcher Michael Barrett that resulted in Barrett needing six stitches.
There's a pattern with Zambrano, and it's never been a pretty one. Despite his efforts to get his anger issues under control, it's apparent little to no progress has been made. He's still the same old Carlos Zambrano, which means opportunities to resurrect his career will be even more difficult to come by.
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