Bill Murray Likes Big Z in the Bullpen

"He's great when he's joyous and he's a very flamboyant character"

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    CHICAGO - APRIL 12: Actor Bill Murray stands on the mound as he prepares to throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Chicago Cubs home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    At least one high profile Cubs fan thinks moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen was a classy move.

    “It could extend his career another 25 years,” Bill Murray told NBC’s Popcorn Biz during a stop at the Tribeca Film festival.  “He could have that stuff for a long time. And he gets to go into the game as a batter. He could get the game winning hit and strikeout someone.”

    Murray makes no bones about his love for the Cubs. He’s often spotted at games, has sung the seventh inning stretch numerous times and was mentioned as a potential minority owner when Tom Ricketts was negotiating to buy the team.

    That doensn’t exactly give him the right to pass judgement on the wisdom of moving a $91.5 million starting pitcher into the bullpen, but he makes a good point.

    “I think the guy takes a lot of pressure off,” Murray said. “Maybe this could be kind of fun. He's great when he's joyous and he's a very flamboyant character. For him to come in, to stride in as a hero to save the day. That might really suit him.”

    So far Big Z has proved a stabilizer for the bullpen.

    He threw 1 2/3 innings of shutout baseball Monday night in relief of pitcher Carlos Silva.

    But shortly after the game he told reporters he expects the move to be temporary.