So…two or three weeks of anger management classes and suddenly Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is a new man, huh?

You’ll have to forgive me if I’m not buying what the Cubs are selling.

Apparently “cured” of the anger issues that have prevented Zambrano from reaching the full potential of his obvious talent, Big Z has been cleared to begin his baseball rehabilitation in Mesa.

From one “rehab” to another “rehab” and—Poof!—magically, all is well again.

Zambrano, who was suspended following a June 25 dugout tirade at U.S. Cellular Field, threw 25 pitches Thursday in Mesa, AZ. ESPN’s Bruce Levine reports that “Hendry said the Cubs and Zambrano will get together at some point next week and decide where he’ll continue his rehab in the minor leagues.”

Look, this is a joke. Except the joke’s on us because if the man truly does have a mental illness—and let’s be honest, that’s what we’re talking about here—then you can’t expect years and years of problems to be worked out in a two-week session.

Let’s face it: This is a marriage that is irrevocably broken. Jim Hendry and the Cubs simply have to do what it takes and send Zambrano packing.

That means having to eat the majority of his contract, and that is a dish that Hendry has no appetite for.

But if this is allowed to continue, it’s going to fester into something far worse than what we’ve witnessed to this point. Simply put, at some point, Zambrano’s frustration will boil over to the point of no return.

And I doubt that any of his teammates or management want to be hit by the shrapnel from that explosion.

Meanwhile, cognitive restructuring (changing the way you think) takes time. Trying to change years of destructive behavior is not easy to do.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Sometimes it’s our immediate surroundings that give us cause for irritation and fury.” They suggest that a change of surroundings may be necessary.

If so, then that lends even more credence to the idea that Zambrano has to go. For his good and the good of the organization.  

For you know that Zambrano isn’t going to be happy having both to face teammates that don’t like him and to return to the bullpen, a role he truly dislikes.

It’s time for Mr. Hendry to forget about trying to “fix” the man. Likewise, do not have the illusion that you can trade Zamrbano for prospects or find a team willing to absorb the approximately $45 million remaining on his contract.  

Just end this thing before someone gets hurt.

After all, deep breathing and meditation only go so far.


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