Firsts can be few and far between deep into MLB careers.
But Chicago Cubs utility player Ben Zobrist, a 16-year veteran of the League, managed to snag one. He had never been ejected, at any level of professional baseball, ever – that’s 1,562 game in the majors alone – until the ninth inning of the Cubs vs. Brewers game Tuesday afternoon.
The mild-mannered 37-year-old couldn’t hold his anger in any longer after home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi made a couple of questionable strike calls throughout the game. So in the ninth inning, he unleashed the most Ben Zobrist burn of all-time, getting him booted.
Zobrist told Cuzzi: “That’s why we want electronic strike zones.” And that was that.
#Cubs Ben Zobrist was ejected for the first time in his career. He said umpire Phil Cuzzi did not want to have a conversation with him about going back to make an adjustment after missing a call in a previous AB.
— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) August 14, 2018
Players usually throw a few expletives to get themselves tossed from a game, but Zobrist would never.
Manager Joe Maddon was tossed earlier in the game for arguing another strike call against Zobrist. Maddon, of course, gets ejected plenty.
Here's the called third strike against Zobrist that led to words with plate ump Phil Cuzzi and Joe Maddon's ejection. pic.twitter.com/I2U9gOSQwA
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 14, 2018
That pitch is obviously borderline, but Zobrist will have to live with human umpires for the time being. He first voiced his support for the phenomenon a year ago, and the technology still does not exist.
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