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updated: 2/14/2011 6:55 PM

Zambrano looking forward, not past

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  • Geovany Soto, left, has a conversation Monday with pitchers John Grabow (43) and Carlos Zambrano on the first of spring training camp for the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz.

      Geovany Soto, left, has a conversation Monday with pitchers John Grabow (43) and Carlos Zambrano on the first of spring training camp for the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz.
    Bruce Miles | Staff Photographer

  • Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, center, takes part in team workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. It was the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers.

    Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, center, takes part in team workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. It was the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers.
    Associated Press

  • Cubs pitchers Carlos Zambrano, right, and Matt Garza join the workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. Monday was the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers.

    Cubs pitchers Carlos Zambrano, right, and Matt Garza join the workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. Monday was the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers.
    Associated Press

  • Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, center, pitcher Angel Guzman, right, and pitcher Jeff Stevens get ready for workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. Zambrano says he'd like to start Opening Day, but it won't be a problem if manager Mike Quade picks someone else.

    Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, center, pitcher Angel Guzman, right, and pitcher Jeff Stevens get ready for workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. Zambrano says he'd like to start Opening Day, but it won't be a problem if manager Mike Quade picks someone else.
    Associated Press

 
 

MESA, Ariz. -- Carlos Zambrano's repartee with the media Monday was friendly overall, but Zambrano wanted to get a couple things straight right way.

First, Zambrano said he doesn't want to rehash last year's tumultuous season. Second, he said he'd like to start Opening Day but that he'd defer to manager Mike Quade on that decision.

Zambrano was met with a crowd of reporters at his Fitch Park locker on the first day pitchers and catchers worked out. He looks to be in good physical shape. After spending part of last season in anger-management therapy, Zambrano finished the season 8-0.

Asked if he'd like to build on that, Zambrano didn't want to look back.

"Let's talk about this year," he said. "I never talk about what happened last year, what happened in the past. I want to talk about the good team that we have. I want to talk of this year and being a better player and a better pitcher, and that's what I'm looking forward to."

Zambrano was asked if he could stay out of trouble.

"What do you think?" he said. "Yeah. I just want to talk with my numbers."

Zambrano, who turns 30 in June, has made 6 straight opening-day starts. That streak is in jeopardy this year as Quade has said Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza are in the mix for the April 1 opener at Wrigley Field.

"Talk to Mike," Zambrano said. "I know that I finished strong last year, but there are two more quality pitchers that can make the opening-day game. I'm good with that. Of course, I want to be the opening-day guy. I want to open the season for the Cubs. The decision is out of my hands. There's nothing I can do about it if he decides to (start) Dempster or Garza. It's about feeling good and about helping each other."

That was OK with Quade.

"I want all three of them to want it, and I'm happy with guys that are comfortable with whatever we decide," Quade said.

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