"I left half of my heart over there," said Zambrano, who was traded in January for Chris Volstad and cash considerations. "Chicago was always great to me and I do really appreciate all the attention and the criticism too because that made me get better. Nobody likes to be criticized but Wrigley (Field) was a great place for me.
"The atmosphere of baseball that you have in Wrigley, the passion of the fans is something that you probably don't see in any other ballpark. But it was time to turn the page. I'm here now and I'm in a new place and I'm trying to enjoy the time here. So far I'm doing it."
Few question Zambrano's talent level, but he struggled with consistency and a volatile temper that alienated some teammates. He said he met with new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein this winter and not long after that meeting he was traded to the Marlins.
"I know that I made a mistake in Chicago. I made a lot of mistakes," Zambrano said. "But I know that I lived a lot of good memories and did good things for the Cubs and I accept my mistakes. I'm a responsible person. I don't make an excuse. I'm responsible for things that happened in Chicago. Nobody else. It wasn't Jim Hendry, it wasn't the team, it was me, Carlos Zambrano. And that's why I'm here."
Zambrano said he has no hard feelings toward Epstein for moving him, and actually praised the Cubs' new direction.
"Believe me, I think he knows what he's doing," Zambrano said. "I heard criticism, people saying this and that about him and the team. That team is good. It's all about playing good. If they play good, they have good pitching.
"He made some moves that he thought were good for the team. He came from Boston and did a good job over there and now he wants to do the same thing in Chicago. I think he can do it. He's a smart guy and thinks ahead of people and he thinks a lot about baseball, which is good."
Zambrano won't pitch in the current series against the Cubs, and he doesn't think that's a bad thing.
"I think it's too early," he said. "I think I would have a chance in July after the All-Star break for sure. I think I will face them."