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Zambrano reluctantly agrees
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/22/2008 12:05 AM

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Carlos Zambrano fought the good fight to stay off the disabled list, but, in the end, he came around to the view of the Cubs and their doctors.

So Zambrano grudgingly agreed to a 15-day hiatus on the DL with a strained right shoulder. He will miss 2 starts and be eligible to come off the DL on July 4, when the Cubs open a series in St. Louis.

Lefty Sean Marshall will come up from Class AAA Iowa to start in place of Zambrano on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles.

If nothing else, Zambrano can do other things while waiting for the aftereffects of Friday's MRI arthrogram to wear off.

"That's the reaction that you'd want from him," general manager Jim Hendry said. "He wasn't real pleased with me right away, but we talked through it. By tomorrow, I'll be telling him to use it as a chance to work on his extra hitting."

While expressing "big relief" that Zambrano's labrum and rotator cuff appear to be in good shape, Hendry went on to say he and the Cubs are looking long term.

"Like I told you before, it's our job to look at the calendar at the end of the year and work backwards," he said. "Let's get it all cleared up. Let's get the inflammation out and have him fresh and ready to go for the next 18-20 starts, hopefully.

"It really wasn't a hard decision for us knowing that the long haul is more important than the next 10 days."

Although Zambrano's shoulder might be OK, he might want to work on some foot-in-mouth disease. Asked about missing next weekend's scheduled start against the White Sox, he talked about playing at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I don't like to pitch in American League ballparks," he said. "I feel bored. The games are too long. I like the National League. You're competing and you do something for yourself. No one has to come in for me and do the DH part.

"I like to compete and play against the White Sox. It's good. Every time I go to U.S. Cellular, or Comiskey, or whatever is the name of the ballpark, people start screaming at you and saying all kinds of things, calling you all kind of things.

"They say something like 'homosexual.' Sometimes I'm in the outfield and they say bad words. 'You're a homosexual.' I say, 'I'm going to show him if I'm a homosexual on the mound.' That's kind of like a good feeling between the Cubs and the Sox."

When asked about his reaction to Zambrano's comments, Hendry said he did not wish to be quoted. A Cubs spokesman said Zambrano was not trying to be offensive to any group and that he was attempting to relay what has been said to him in the past by some fans.

Zambrano left Wednesday's start at Tampa Bay after 6¿ innings because of discomfort in the shoulder.

"Even if I don't want to go on the DL, I have to accept it," he said. "It's what's best for the team, and the best for me. We don't want to have a problem with my shoulder. We're giving it rest, and I think it's the best for everybody."

Zambrano threw 130 pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 28, but manager Lou Piniella discounted that as a reason Zambrano wound up on the DL.

"We've watched his pitch counts all year," Piniella said. "I don't think pitch counts have anything to do with it.

"I can give you pitch counts on every pitcher, how many pitches they've thrown in any particular game, 2 or 3 starts in a row. We shorten them up, and then we give them the extra day. So pitch counts, believe me, have nothing to do with it."