Kris Bryant on ejection: ‘I had to stick up for myself’
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was ejected for the first time in his major league career during Tuesday’s 7-2 victory over the crosstown Chicago White Sox. Bryant’s ejection occurred during the fourth inning after arguing a questionable third-strike call by umpire Lance Barksdale.
After the game, Bryant, normally not one prone to such interactions, insisted he felt compelled to defend himself.
“It’s frustrating,” Bryant said, via CSN Chicago. “I know he’s trying to do the best job he can. I’m doing the best job I can. Heat of the moment. I feel like I only want to say something when I know it for a fact.
“Sometimes, there’s borderline pitches that are really hard to call. That one, I knew for a fact. I had to do it. I had to stick up for myself.
“I don’t want to be the guy that gets thrown out of games. I try to be professional on the field. I have to stick up for myself sometimes.”
Kris Bryant discussss what led to his first major league ejection.
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Bryant declined to tell reporters exactly what he said to Barksdale, although he admitted to being surprised over getting tossed since it lacked the histrionics and such typical of ejections.
Cubs skipper Joe Maddon also addressed the ejection afterward.
“I said, ‘What did he say?’ And he told me. I’m thinking, ‘My gosh; that’s not harsh enough.’ I mean, I’ve clearly said a lot harsher than that,” Maddon said, via CBS Chicago. “I did not want to get kicked out at that moment. I was not really worth it at that moment. It was so awkwardly benign, what he said, and that he would get kicked out for it, so I did not want to get all worked up.
“I needed somebody to come after me right there. I needed him to tell me something really awful, and then I might have. But it was like, ‘You got to be kidding me?’”
All things considered, the only thing that made the ejection notable was it was the first of Bryant’s career. Absent of any appearance of scandal, odds are all involved parties will move on.