Joe Maddon Got the Boot Yesterday, Watch How It Went Down
The Chicago Cubs did manage to mash four home runs in yesterday’s contest against the Cincinnati Reds, but even that couldn’t get them out of the hole they dug for themselves at the beginning of the game.
By the end of the second inning, the Cubs had already given up 4 earned runs – on 4 walks and 4 hits (including a HR) – committed an error, allowed a passed ball and two steals, and lost their manager, who was arguing balls and strikes. Woof.
However, it is possible that the latter nightmare was more or less pre-meditated, at that point.
Check it out:
To be fair, Joe Maddon was exceptionally right to be mad, as that “strike” was awfully low and even a fair bit inside. In fact, on replay, the catcher’s glove hits the ground quite clearly and he seems genuinely shocked by the call himself. Joe Maddon addressed the game, the call, his ejection and what he wanted from the umpire in a postgame interview after the game:
“I haven’t had a day off in a while.” – Joe Maddon
Although you never want to play without your manager, there can be benefits to a well-timed and well-placed ejection (I’m immediately reminded of Lou Piniella’s ejection in 2007, which effectively marked the beginning of the Cubs march to the playoffs). Like we saw yesterday, that sort of ejection and interruption to the game can reset the tone, spark the fans and create some intangible/unquantifiable side-benefits, especially at home. In fact, it doesn’t even really matter what you say in those situations. What might have looked like intense, passionate arguing to the fans, was simply Joe Maddon asking where the ball was and for the umpire to admit he was wrong. It’s all about the appearances.
It may not have been enough to carry the team all the way back, but the Cubs did outscore the Reds 5-4 from there on out. Oh well. Today’s a new day, and Joe Maddon still has our backs.