After years of emotional outbursts and quarrels with teammates, the Cubs have finally had enough. In an effort to get Carlos Zambrano to concentrate on his game, calm his temper, and find his inner self, owner Tom Ricketts forced him to practice yoga this off-season.

“I know first-hand the benefits of yoga,” said Ricketts, who used to take lessons in college in an attempt to pick up chicks. “Those classes were always filled with the finest tail in the city.”

But that’s not what Ricketts is hoping Zambrano will get out of it. He wants Zambrano to rediscover what made him such a great pitcher a couple seasons ago.

To do that, Ricketts has pulled out all of the stops. He’s installed a yoga studio underneath the left field bleachers to practice before game day, and has even brought in a group of world-class sitar players to create the perfect atmosphere.

Although he’s given Zambrano all of the necessary tools, it hasn’t gone as smooth as planned. Zambrano has broken three water coolers, berated numerous women next to him in class for breathing too loud, and has gone through 17 yoga instructors, who have all given up, claiming that he’s a hopeless head case.

However difficult it’s been, Zambrano believes he’s starting to come around and realize yoga’s benefits.

“I want to thank Mr. Ricketts for making me do this,” said a calm Zambrano wearing flowers in his hair and breathing in the soothing incense. “Because of yoga, I don’t see myself beating the hell out of any teammates or bashing any Gatorade machines this season. I’ll just stick to baseball.”

By Michael Kloempken. Photoshop by Pat Lamorte

Michael Kloempken