Now Commenting On:

{"content":["spring_training" ] }

Zambrano finds meaning in his name

Big Z finds meaning in his name

MESA, Ariz. -- Check out the back of Carlos Zambrano's shoes. They now have both a Venezuelan flag on them and Zambrano's name written in Japanese kanji script.

Naoko Sato, a Nikkan Sports News reporter who covers Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, translated Zambrano's name for him. The kanji characters each have a meaning, and Zambrano's begins with a character that means, "To hunt." So, Zambrano is a hunter on the mound.

The next is "the road," which translated into Zambrano going his own way. And three characters combined mean he scatters opponents, rips off his clothes -- not literally -- and dances on the mound. Anyone who has seen the right-hander pitch knows how animated he can be.

Sato then simplified the script, and the Cubs pitcher copied it onto the back of his shoes with a blue Sharpie. Where else can a Venezuelan pitcher have his name in Japanese on his shoes? What a country.

Cubs third-base coach Mike Quade teased Fukudome that he was going to play in both games of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader, although Zambrano volunteered to play right.

"I think I have a little better arm," Zambrano said.

"You're probably right," Fukudome said. "You have better control."

Fukudome started in right field Wednesday against Oakland, and had no problems after getting hit on the left side of his neck by a thrown ball while stealing a base the day before.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español