By: Alex Patt
Chicago Cubs veteran Ben Zobrist had played in 1,562 regular season MLB games and 63 postseason games in his career coming into Tuesday’s game against the Brewers. That is a total (regular and postseason) of 6748 plate appearances since his MLB debut in 2006. Not once in that span had he gotten ejected from a game. That all changed Tuesday.
It was an awful game for the Cubs, a 7-0 loss at Wrigley Field. Frustration boiled over when homeplate umpire Phil Cuzzi was calling an large strikezone and rung up several Cubs on a few questionable pitches. No, he was not the reason the Cubs lost, but it was frustrating nonetheless. Eventually, he rung up Ben Zobrist on a pitch that looked outside and the 37-year old veteran was not pleased.
Zobrist pointed to the plate and said, “That’s why we want an automated strike zone!” And after he said those words he was thrown out of the game. Yes, the mild-mannered Ben Zobrist did enough to anger an umpire that led to an ejection. No profanity, no contact with the umpire, no slamming of equipment, just honesty.
He mentioned in the postgame that he was not going to hold back after he thought he was gone anyways for getting mad at the call. Also note that skipper Joe Maddon was tossed from the game as well, just a real frustrating game for the Cubs. There obviously is a lot of anger from players towards umpires, there always has been, but with video boards and replays now everyone can see how close a ball was to the zone which makes bad calls look even worse.
When will “Robot Umps” take over? Probably not for a while as the technology is still being worked on. Not to mention they would probably have to guinea pig it with other baseball leagues first. Until then, umpires are just part of the game and frustration will not go away.