Zambrano says he and Barrett are past dugout slugout

Updated: June 8, 2007, 7:41 PM ET
ESPN,.com news services

Pitcher Carlos Zambrano said he and batterymate Michael Barrett shared some tears when the two Chicago Cubs teammates reconciled after their dugout fight last week.

"He came to me the next day, and he apologized and I apologized to him and we cried," a teary-eyed Zambrano said after he beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. "I still love him."

Zambrano finally spoke to reporters Wednesday about the two men making peace, after refusing to comment about the reconciliation for days.

Barrett and Cubs manager Lou Piniella had earlier spoken about the situation. Zambrano did, however, publicly take the blame for the fracas last Saturday.

It all came to a head last Friday in the top of the fifth inning against Atlanta. The Braves had just scored five runs to increase their lead to 7-1; during the inning, Barrett allowed a passed ball and threw wildly to third for an error.

Zambrano was seen pointing at his head and yelling at the catcher in the dugout before the bottom half, while Barrett pointed toward the field. There was shoving and some slaps.

Zambrano cocked his right fist as the two were being separated. Piniella said Zambrano was upset about the passed ball, and the manager along with several players walked the pitcher back to the clubhouse. Piniella told Zambrano to take a shower and go home, then returned to the dugout.

Moments later, a clubhouse attendant could be seen telling Piniella something. Derrek Lee jumped up and headed into the tunnel, and Piniella and pitching coach Larry Rothschild followed. Barrett wound up in a hospital for a split lip afterward and both players were fined by the Cubs for their actions.

Now, all is forgiven -- and when Zambrano's next turn in the rotation comes up Monday against Houston, Barrett will be his catcher.

"And I don't have a problem with that," Zambrano told reporters. "I told you I didn't want to talk about that, but I'm still a friend of Michael Barrett. He still calls me 'brother,' and I still call him 'brother.' We forget and forgive each other, and we're back on track. ... We've moved on, and we're here for this team."

Barrett concurred.

"It was over the moment it happened for me. There were no hard feelings," Barrett told reporters. "I totally understand how things like that can happen. And like I said, I love him enough to move forward."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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