What is Carlos Zambrano smoking?

Zambrano demands new deal:

MESA, Ariz. — Chicago Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano has a new message for the team: sign him to a new contract before the season starts or he'll leave and become a free agent after it's over.

"I'm ready to sign and I would do my job anyway with the Cubs this year," Zambrano said in an interview with WGN-TV that was reported Tuesday by the Chicago Tribune.

"Whatever happens, I don't want to know about a contract during the season. I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don't sign me, sorry, but I must go. That's what Carlos Zambrano thinks."

Zambrano, 16-7 with a 3.41 ERA and 210 strikeouts last season, asked for $15.5 million in arbitration. The team offered $11.025 million. He made $6.5 million last season.

How many millions did it take before he started referring to himself in the third person (dude, you're no Manny Ramirez) and believing that if he demanded a new deal before the start of the 2007 season lest he leave at the end of the 2007 season, it would make the Cubbies more likely to want to work with him. Seriously, at this point the Cubs should refuse to give him a contract and then the day before the trading deadline send him to Kansas City in return for a bucket of hockey pucks. (As a Cubs fan, putting Angel Berroa into the bucket isn't a bad idea either). You want a new contract buddy? Enjoy playing for a last place team! Ha ha ha! [er, you know he's currently with the Cubs, right? -ed]