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Carlos Zambrano Retires, Cubs Sign Albert Pujols: The Nightmare Scenario

Fact one: The Carlos Zambrano thing is funny. Carlos Zambrano is himself funny, the rare player who is made so angry by losing, allowing a hit, making eye contact at another team's hitter, that even the super-competitive ex-players who overpopulate sports TV disown him. The Chicago Cubs collapsing in midseason while their ace stalks off and threatens to retire—not funny, unless you have no capacity for empathy, but certainly a ha-ha! moment for water cooler discussions with your local Cubs fan. The way his enormous salary would come off the books if he actually retired, leaving the Cubs freer to pursue Albert Pujols in the offseason: Not even a little funny.


Of course, I don't think that's actually going to happen—I don't think Zambrano will retire and I don't think the Cubs will spend mega-millions on Pujols when Prince Fielder is also on the market. But this is a little like your local Cubs fan walking up to the water cooler with a very funny-looking bomb strapped to his chest—you have to respect, or at least keep your distance from, the nuclear option.