Joe Maddon eviscerates umpire D.J. Reyburn following ejection
Joe Maddon became so frustrated with home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn’s strike zone during the Chicago Cubs’ 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals that his chirping over it ultimately resulted in his sixth-inning ejection.
But the Cubs skipper was far from finished angrily articulating his opinion that Reyburn had a horrible day calling balls and strikes, as he went on a lengthy rant to reporters after the game.
“It was egregiously bad,” Maddon said of Reyburn’s strike zone, via a report from ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers. “You cannot permit that to happen. We’re trying to ascend and we’re not going to take that from anybody, anywhere at any time.”
Maddon later vehemently defended Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Addison Russell, three rookies who are in the starting lineup on a regular basis who combined for six strikeouts in the game.
“I’m not going to put up with anything,” Maddon said. “I’m not. And I’m not going to allow our guys to get shortchanged based on the fact they have haven’t been here a long time.
“We play a veteran club with a veteran battery against guys with barely two months in the big leagues; I’m not going to take it. Our guys deserve equal treatment, and I’m not going to take it.”
While Maddon had no issue with blasting Reyburn during and after the game, he expressed great pride in his players by maintaining their composure.
“And I’ll further add our guys handled the moment extremely well,” Maddon added. “I’m proud of the fact they didn’t turn on an umpire or say anything disrespectful. They didn’t act like a bunch of babies. They didn’t do any of that, and I thought that was spectacular also.”
An MLB spokesman indicated the league is reviewing the Cubs’ skippers fiery comments.
Maddon, Major League Baseball’s resident managerial eccentric, developed a reputation during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays as a leader who was willing to pull silly stunts to take the heat off his players and keep them loose. Going to bat in such a frontal manner like he did on Wednesday will go far to demonstrate to his Cubs players that he will defend them to the end, yet another way Maddon shows he’s a players’ coach at heart.
(photo credit: WTOP.com)