Suppan and Zambrano Find Solace in Bullpen Together


By: Melissa S. Wollering

If there’s one thing these two underperforming, salary-eating former starting pitchers can agree on, it’s this: at least they have each other. We fictitiously caught up with them after Jeff Suppan found out he’d been sentenced to the pen and before Carlos Zambrano left Miller Park on what was supposed to be the day he would start against Dave Bush and the Milwaukee Brewers. Here is their “conversation.”

CZ: “Hey Amigo, I heard Macha pulled a Pinella today. Is it true you’re headed for middle relief?”

JS: “That’s my understanding, yep. I pitch two games after coming off the DL and Macha’s got less patience with me than he had with Bill Hall holding a pink bat on Mother’s Day.”

Carlos Zambrano

CZ: “Lo siento, amigo. Remember, you don’t have to apologize to anyone. When I found out they were about to put me there, I had to calm myself down. I busted three dispensers on the Gatorade machine, but I was still angry. I strangled our bat boy for 10 seconds until Lou pried my fat hands off the chico’s skinny neck. By then, I knew I had better stop or I’d be in grande trouble.”

JS: “I’m not going give our staff that satisfaction. I have a job to do here, with only a locker, glove and sweat-stained jock strap from 2004 to my name. The managers have their job to do with their big offices and their big ol’ paychecks. Too bad I single-handedly donate more to charitable causes than any other Brewers player alone. They’ll miss that when I’m gone.”

CZ: “My money goes back to mi familia en Venezuela, but it’s all charity, too, man. And the Cubs want to stay in the top 3 for MLB revenue. I help them bring that revenue in, me and my name, man. Now they pay me all that money to sit in this pen? Won’t even let me play back-to-back games? “I’ll try to do anything to win a game. Why not this fair?

Jeff Suppan Strike Zone

JS: “Life isn’t fair, Carlos. I should have complained of the pain a bit longer so I could be put on the 60-day DL. Maybe this would’ve all turned out differently.”

CZ: “I think they think I’m not in shape, they want me to be different, too. If you throw 200 innings or more, you have to be in shape. If you work on your diet and strength, it will help you be in perfect shape for the playoffs. I am in perfect shape for the playoffs.”

JS: “I thought I could help the Brewers get to the playoffs this year. But the umps calling my strikes balls—they’re nuts! I am throwing straight down the middle!”

CZ: “Yeah, but isn’t that your problem, man? Lo siento. Ten years from now I will tell you how I feel about umpires.”

JS: “We just have to tough it out with these loser relievers and remember we’re better than them. Did I not help one of the greatest organizations in baseball win the World Series? Why do people forget that? I am better than them when you look at what I’ve done over time.”

CZ: “But my anger management counselor told me I cannot believe to be above the law or above anyone else. Find strength in humility is what he told me. Is that true, Supp?”

JS: “Only when you fake a neck injury, Carlos. Only then can you prove you are truly humble. ”

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