The Miami Marlins was probably the last stop for Carlos Zambrano. The change of scenery for Zambrano may have just resurrected his career. A new and improved Carlos Zambrano helped the Miami Marlins extend their winning streak to seven games with a 4-0 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
It was Zambrano’s first win as a Marlin, although he has pitched well enough in his previous starts to win with a 2.53 ERA in 32 innings. Zambrano allowed three hits and struck out nine in a complete game shutout.
Zambrano came to the Marlins via the Cubs, loaded with baggage, and penchant for temper tantrums. No one has seen that type of Zambrano in Miami. He has become a clubhouse favorite of his teammates. “Since he walked in here, he has been nothing but awesome, in every way you can think of,” catcher John Buck said. “He’s kind of a favorite in this clubhouse.” Even the player formerly known as Mike Stanton is in agreement, “The outside view of him is nothing like he really is,” Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton said.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was supposed to help Zambrano channel his energy toward positive results. It’s not the first time that a manager was supposed to be the guy who helped Zambrano elevate his game to the next level.
Remember former Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella was supposed to have that kind of effect as well. But as we found out, 1-Hot Temper ( Piniella) + 1-Hot Temper (Zambrano) = 1 Really Hot Temper ( Zambrano ) . That union didn’t quite work out.
Guillen thinks he has a handle on the situation. “I don’t care if you get mad,” Guillen said. “I don’t care if you throw stuff. I don’t care if you go crazy out there.
But you have to respect your teammates, and you have to respect your club. He has gotten along with the players very well. The reason I took that chance with Carlos is because I know him very well. I know him off the field.”
That very well may be, but I would not listen to any advice from Guillen when it comes to say, politics.
Zambrano gives all the credit for his newfound disposition to someone else. Zambrano said that he had a religious epiphany during a trip home to Venezuela. “It changed my life,” he said. “I don’t know if people believe that. I grew up going to church.
For some reason, three or four years ago, I stopped going to church and reading the Bible. Things got out of control. God saved my life.”
That seems very sincere.
The Marlins are quietly turning their season around. They surely have had their share of off the field distractions. If they are to continue winning Zambrano could play a large part in the process.
Zambrano was not the Marlins biggest off-season acquisition, however if he can keep the anger demons at bay, he may turn out to be the best one.