Zambrano retracts wishes for new park

Updated: April 6, 2009, 2:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

It's a tradition like no other.

Winning or losing, the Chicago Cubs consistently play in front of near-sellout crowds at Wrigley Field, the nation's second-oldest ballpark -- a stadium Carlos Zambrano doesn't have issues with, after all.

Zambrano
Zambrano

Zambrano said an Associated Press story misquoted him in reporting that he coveted a replacement for Wrigley after the Cubs' two-game exhibition series at the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

"I didn't say that," Zambrano said Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to Saturday's story, Zambrano said "you wish that Chicago'd build a new stadium for the Cubs."

But Zambrano backed off his comments Sunday.

"I said anybody wants to have a new ballpark," the Cubs' ace said, according to the newspaper. "As a player, you feel like you're trying to be more comfortable. As a player, you want to have the greatest ballpark in the National League, or the big leagues. As a fan, we should stay there.

"I don't have a problem with Wrigley Field. That's what I said."

Zambrano said he's aware Wrigley, opened in 1914, holds critical appeal. Only Boston's Fenway Park, dating to 1912, is older.

"They don't want to build a stadium just because someone say that," he said. "But I really don't care. I just care about pitching."

Zambrano asked why he should be concerned that many Cubs fans grew angry from his comments.

"They don't have to be mad," he said. "I didn't say they have to build a new stadium. If the Cubs do it, we will be much better and more comfortable, as a player.

"I think it's my opinion. And sometimes when fans say something about a player, you have to respect it. But I didn't say we should move.

"I love Wrigley Field," he added, according to the Tribune. "Don't get me wrong. It's a nice ballpark, but if the Cubs think some time, some period, 10 or 20 years from now, if they think about [building] a new ballpark, it should be good."

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