Dempster: Before return, Zambrano ‘owes everybody an apology’

Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has had a tempestuous first half of the baseball season, struggling to stay healthy and pitch to his previously established levels. On Friday, Zambrano went on an animated tirade directed at his teammates, in the dugout and in full view of television cameras. Zambrano has since been suspended by the team and his future with the organization is in doubt.

Fellow Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster joined ESPN Radio in Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to talk about Zambrano’s outburst. To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews. Questions and responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster says he expects his suspended teammate, Carlos Zambrano, to return to the club this season.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster says he expects his suspended teammate, Carlos Zambrano, to return to the club this season.

Was Zambrano speaking in Spanish or English? What did he say?

Dempster: Both. He was upset. He was upset, he was mad, and he said something I’m sure he wished he didn’t say. We’ve moved past it and it’s been a couple days.

I know everybody in Chicago wants to keep rehashing, keep talking about it, but us as players we have just moved on. We’ll deal with whatever hurdles come next with Z coming back and we’ll move forward. You know, it was cool, we came out Saturday and played a good game, and then we came out yesterday and won a game. So we’re just focused on what we can do on the field and not let all that stuff get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish.

Is there a chance the other players won’t accept Zambrano if he comes back?

Dempster: You have to move on with those things. It would be a miserable year if you sit there and outcast one of your teammates like that.  Like Ted Lilly said, we’ve all done things we have probably regretted and been forgiven for. We will handle it if and when it comes, and just go out there and make the best of the situation. We have to move forward; you can’t sit there and walk around with negative things hanging over your head. Unfortunately, it was kind of a black mark on what went on during the weekend. We just have to figure out the best way to move past it, and win ball games, and have fun, and rally around each other.

Does Dempster think Zambrano will regain the trust of his teammates?

Dempster: I think that’s up to him, right? When you do those things and react the way he did, you have to be the one to stand up and accept responsibility. I think he’s willing to do that, but we’ll wait and see. Like I said, I can’t make speculations because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Whatever happens happens, and we are just going to go out there and try to win the ball game tonight, and that’s really the only thing on our minds.

Did Dempster have a problem with Zambrano having dinner with Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen the night of the incident, after the game?

Dempster: No.  If it was me, would I do it? No. But when you are away from the field, you can go hang out with whoever you want to go hang out with, and have dinner with whoever you want to eat with. I know they are very good friends away from the field and they talk a lot. They see each other a lot during the off season, so he is free to do whatever he wants. Those are judgments you have to make on your own, and you have to decide whether they are right.

I said if it was me I wouldn’t have done it, but that’s his choice. He did it, and it doesn’t bother me.

Does Dempster expect Zambrano to return to the Cubs this season?

Dempster: Yeah, for sure. I think that’s inevitable, right? I think that he’ll be back and I think he has to handle it in a certain way. I think that everybody would be crazy not to assume that he owes everybody an apology, and once we go from there I think you owe it to yourself to forgive your teammate and move past that. Just keep trying to plug forward and try to get to the playoffs is what we are trying to do here.

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Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has had a tempestuous first half of the baseball season, struggling to stay healthy and pitch to his previously established levels. On Friday, Zambrano went on an animated tirade directed at his teammates, in the dugout and in full view of television cameras. Zambrano has since been suspended by the team and his future with the organization is in doubt.

Fellow Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster joined ESPN Radio in Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to talk about Zambrano’s outburst. To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews. Questions and responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster says he expects his suspended teammate, Carlos Zambrano, to return to the club this season.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster says he expects his suspended teammate, Carlos Zambrano, to return to the club this season.

Was Zambrano speaking in Spanish or English? What did he say?

Dempster: Both. He was upset. He was upset, he was mad, and he said something I’m sure he wished he didn’t say. We’ve moved past it and it’s been a couple days.

I know everybody in Chicago wants to keep rehashing, keep talking about it, but us as players we have just moved on. We’ll deal with whatever hurdles come next with Z coming back and we’ll move forward. You know, it was cool, we came out Saturday and played a good game, and then we came out yesterday and won a game. So we’re just focused on what we can do on the field and not let all that stuff get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish.

Is there a chance the other players won’t accept Zambrano if he comes back?

Dempster: You have to move on with those things. It would be a miserable year if you sit there and outcast one of your teammates like that.  Like Ted Lilly said, we’ve all done things we have probably regretted and been forgiven for. We will handle it if and when it comes, and just go out there and make the best of the situation. We have to move forward; you can’t sit there and walk around with negative things hanging over your head. Unfortunately, it was kind of a black mark on what went on during the weekend. We just have to figure out the best way to move past it, and win ball games, and have fun, and rally around each other.

Does Dempster think Zambrano will regain the trust of his teammates?

Dempster: I think that’s up to him, right? When you do those things and react the way he did, you have to be the one to stand up and accept responsibility. I think he’s willing to do that, but we’ll wait and see. Like I said, I can’t make speculations because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Whatever happens happens, and we are just going to go out there and try to win the ball game tonight, and that’s really the only thing on our minds.

Did Dempster have a problem with Zambrano having dinner with Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen the night of the incident, after the game?

Dempster: No.  If it was me, would I do it? No. But when you are away from the field, you can go hang out with whoever you want to go hang out with, and have dinner with whoever you want to eat with. I know they are very good friends away from the field and they talk a lot. They see each other a lot during the off season, so he is free to do whatever he wants. Those are judgments you have to make on your own, and you have to decide whether they are right.

I said if it was me I wouldn’t have done it, but that’s his choice. He did it, and it doesn’t bother me.

Does Dempster expect Zambrano to return to the Cubs this season?

Dempster: Yeah, for sure. I think that’s inevitable, right? I think that he’ll be back and I think he has to handle it in a certain way. I think that everybody would be crazy not to assume that he owes everybody an apology, and once we go from there I think you owe it to yourself to forgive your teammate and move past that. Just keep trying to plug forward and try to get to the playoffs is what we are trying to do here.

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