Big Z In Big Trouble Over Missed Flight

Zambrano still serving six-game suspension

Oh, Big Z. When will you learn?

The on-field tantrum against Pittsburgh -- a legendary outing that included Zambrano pretending to throw out the home plate umpire before chucking the ball into the outfield and smashing up the now-deposed Gatorade dispenser in the Cubs dugout -- was bad enough. Sure, it was funny. We were entertained. But it also cost Zambrano a six-game suspension in the midst of a Cubs slide. His team needs him, and because of some silly antics, Zambrano won't be there.

And then this, which takes that last sentiment to its logical conclusion: Zambrano missed a team flight to Atlanta on Monday. That's a major no-no in professional sports clubhouses, perhaps especially when you're suspended. You're still supposed to show up. Not doing so is apathetic at best and disrespectful at worst.

Today, two days later, no one's given a valid excuse for why Zambrano might have missed the flight. Usually, team public relations departments are quick to disseminate a valid excuse. That they haven't done so here seems to suggest that Zambrano just didn't show up. Which, you know, is bad. Bad Big Z. Very bad.

Zambrano will likely be fined and forced to apologize to teammates. Nothing major. But the Cubs pitcher needs to get his season on track, both mentally and physically, soon. The Cubs are merely staying afloat, and the longer Zambrano is off the field the closer the ship comes to sinking.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, Follow him on Twitter.

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