(CBS) Cubs manager Joe Maddon erupted on the umpires in the ninth inning of his team’s eventual 7-6 win against the Reds on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, and he wasn’t done venting in the aftermath either.
Maddon was ejected in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied 6-6 after a scene that left the Cubs bewildered. With no outs and runners at first and second base, Ben Zobrist squared to bunt, only to have the pitch from Reds left-hander Wandy Peralta run in on him and hit him on the leg. Zobrist was initially awarded first base, only to have first-base umpire Chris Conroy overrule the call by saying that Zobrist offered at the pitch when he dropped his bat head as the pitch came toward him.
That led to Maddon losing his mind and pointed comments after the game.
“I don’t even know what to say about that call,” Maddon said. “We’ve had different things happen, and I’ve been playing really good in the sandbox, really good. And I’m not right now. That call can’t be made under those circumstances. I can understand if the guy’s actually swinging, and all of a sudden you get like a check swing. But he’s bunting and then trying to get out of the way, and you’re going to call it a bunt (attempt)? There’s no way any hitter under those circumstances with the ball coming at his thigh is going to bunt through it and then get hit in the thigh. That’s asinine. So for me, Major League Baseball, that call really almost did cost us the game. Fortunately we came back.
“I’ve been playing good in the sandbox. That was wrong.”
Zobrist would follow with a swinging bunt to advance the runners, and following an Albert Almora Jr. strikeout, Javier Baez scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
But Maddon was still upset.
“That impacted the game,” Maddon said. “That’s bases loaded, nobody out. That’s a different at-bat for Almora. It’s a different thought for their pitcher. Everything’s different. The world rotates differently at that point.
“To influence a game like that is wrong. And listen, that guy’s a good guy. I think he’s a good umpire, but I’m not going to concede consistently to these guys. You can’t make that mistake like that.”
Asked if he expects to be fined, Maddon replied, “I’m gonna.”
“Hopefully I’ll get to send it to some charity,” Maddon said.
Maddon made slight contact with two umpires during his argument, which means he could face further discipline.