Blog Entry

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Posted on: May 27, 2009 7:50 pm

Maybe the Chicago Cubs are right and they've been hosed by a rash of bad umpire calls lately.

Or maybe they're dead wrong and totally delusional.

Whatever, one thing could not be more clear in the midst of the emotion:

The Cubs are going to have to get a grip, because there is no way they can win this battle.

While Carlos Zambrano's sensational meltdown against Pittsburgh on Wednesday will be grist for video highlights and high entertainment the rest of this season and beyond, it was the Cubs' third major incident with an umpire in the past four days.

One day after being called out on strikes by plate umpire Doug Eddings, Milton Bradley on Sunday told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that, following an April 16 run-in with umpire Larry Vanover that resulted in a one-game suspension for Bradley, Vanover's colleagues are out to get him.

Monday night, starting pitcher Ted Lilly was ejected for chirping at plate umpire Bob Davidson over balls and strikes calls from the dugout. Lilly wasn't even the starter that night -- he had pitched Sunday in San Diego. Lilly told reporters that he was run after telling Davidson to "concentrate" more.

Tuesday, Davidson accused Lilly of lying, telling The Tribune's Sullivan that "everything [Lilly] said was bull. Everything I read in the paper that he said was untrue. He never said one of those words. What he said to me, you couldn't print in the paper."

Wednesday came Zambrano's tirade against plate umpire Mark Carlson. Zambrano was just activated from the disabled list on Friday. Now he's certain to miss more time with a hefty suspension.

One thing manager Lou Piniella liked about the addition of Bradley was that he thought the outfielder might bring an edge to the club that at times was soft last year. But they can't keep going on like this.

Losers of eight of their past 10 games, clearly, the Cubs are frustrated. But right now, they have the look of a team that's totally out of control.

If this persists, say goodbye to the notion of any close call going in their favor. The umpires have the final word. Teams have to figure out a way to get along with them. It's just the way it is.

Likes: Zack Greinke just keeps on rolling in Kansas City. He's now gone 14 consecutive starts without allowing a home run. That's a good baseball city in need of a good story, and good for Greinke. ... Baltimore set to summon catcher Matt Wieters from the minors on Friday. The Orioles continue to sail north under president/GM Andy MacPhail, even if they are fifth in the AL East. In Wieters, Nick Markakis and growing star center fielder Adam Jones, and with some young pitching developing quickly in the minors, this is a team that's a year -- maybe two at the most -- away. ... Texting taking a toll on America's teenagers? Very interesting story in the New York Times the other day.

Dislikes: You get the DVD from Netflix, you set aside for a few days, you finally pop it in and sit down to watch it one night and ... it's cracked and unplayable. At least Netflix is terrific in quickly solving the problem, and it happens only very rarely. But you've still gotta come up with Plan B that night.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

" If you want you can get to know me well
We get along so we shouldn't argue
And I don't know, said I don't know
All these feelings, cloud up my reasoning"

-- Matchbox 20, Argue


Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: May 29, 2009 11:54 am

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Losers of eight of their past 10 games,(...uh, make that 9 of the last 11)

But funny stuff Scott! My thoughts are that some of us cubs fans/players/coaches are tired of being cuddly and loveable. Play with more fire. Look at those last 11 games, and most have been very close. If anything, this stuff makes it all more exciting to me.

Things that I'm more worried about: Fielding! Plate discipline ( Sori!...the book on you says "pitch him down and away with breaking-ball cinder blocks"...can you get a copy?). Gettings guys back off the DL. Plus, it's only MAY! The only thing decided in May is the Giro de Italia...

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: May 29, 2009 3:13 am

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Now that I would pay to see but wouldn't have to bc it would be on every single highlight reel put together for anything.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2009 1:02 am

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Maybe the players should do the Bill Laimbeer flop when the ump bumps them?

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 3:23 pm

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Watch the video Z did not initiate the contact the pre-madonna umpire did.

Since: Jul 15, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:23 pm

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Anything less than a 10 game suspension will be a joke.  He intentionally bumped an umpire, throws a ball into the crowd and goes nuts on top of it.

Throw him and the entire Scrubs nation out for a two week period.

Your team is irrelevant now.

Sucks doesn't it?

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:15 pm

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Zambrano is a doubt about it

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 12:02 pm

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

While I agree with your sentiments on the whiny Cubs players, I have serious issue with people bringing their kids (grandkids) into the discussion.  It is NOT Milton bradley or Carlos Zambrano's job to teach your or anyone's kids sportsmanship!  This drives me crazy, more hands off parenting from people who don't want to do it themselves.  These guys are paid to play baseball, not be role models for your kids.  Do you not have any positive influences to show them?  Do you have to sit them in front of a Cubs game when it's time to learn the facts of life?  Perhaps Lou Pinella should come to your house and talk about the birds and the bees??? Teach them sportmanship by going to their little league games, not watching WGN.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 9:31 am

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Well guys, I have to agree with PittGW and a few others who have made the best points of all. The players need to grow up...what do they accomplish by arguing and trying to show up the umpire. The umps aren't stupid, they know if they've blown a call, but when was the last time you saw an umpire take it back? Also, when you get tossed you hurt your team, and you are right, let Lou Pinella fight for you and let him get's not so bad.

Carlos Zambrano is going to get suspended, no doubt about it...right or wrong(and he was wrong by the replay), but he's hurting the Cubs, just like Milton Bradley making that stupid statement in the Chicago Tribune about how the umps have it in for him and the strike zone is large. Why??? Well, because Bradley is the biggest whiner of them all, and he's a hothead, and he's not the best team mate. All he does is alienate the umps, that should help his under .200. Ted Lily is just well can you see balls and strikes from the dugout???

Last, what kind of examples are these players showing to our kids. When I am watching a game with my grandson, I turn off the TV when stuff like that happens. It should be embarrassing to the Cubs organization, the Team and the Cubs fans. Does the word sportsmanship mean anything to anyone anymore? These guys who make millions of dollars think they can do whatever they want and get away with it...because they don't understand the word sportsmanship, and what it means for kids to learn it.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 8:17 am

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

You guys need to get a clue.  Every fan who watches baseball, hockey, basketball, football, or any sport watches the games and can give you 100 instances of how their team was screwed.

The fact is that it all evens out.  Umpires are impartial (except for when they are betting on the games :-).  They hate the Cubs, sure.  But they also hate every other team that comes on the field equally.  They are generally ill natured people with bad attitudes, who get nothing but crap all day long.  It is a volitile mixture, and they are the perfect scapegoats.  You hate them, I hate them, everyone hates them!!

If the Cubs want to get through this, here is what they should do:  Stop crying like the babies they are.  Start playing baseball!!  They are making $130 million dollars.  That should buy one small ounce of ability to overcome adverse situatations.  Zambrano, Lily, and Bradley are 3 of the biggest babies I have ever seen.  Show a little bit of professionalism!  Have a little bit of resolve!  Grow up!!

In Zambrano's case, at least be correct about the call before you implode like that!!!

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: May 27, 2009 9:55 pm

In Cubs vs. Umps, umpires will win

Although I completely agree that the umps are getting a little big for their britches and that we could trot out the Questec system to call balls and strikes more accurately (remember the old Maddux strike zone?), we need to start focusing on our own play.  If were scoring like we should, then the game might not be so close and Zambrano won't have any reason to go ballistic.   If we are up 5 or 6 to 1, maybe he wont have a reason to go nuts.

Most importantly,  Bradley and Zambrano need to finally grow up.  Umps are going to make mistakes and I agree that they are getting obnoxious, but you can't fight em on the field cause the player will always lose, even if the player is right.  Zambrano may have been right on the call and had every right to be pissed, but they are going to suspend him for 5 or 6 games.  So if the umps are really out to get us, doesn't that help them win?  Let Lou fight it out with the umps.  If he gets tossed, we have other coaches and he can coach from the clubhouse.  If Zambrano gets tossed, we just lost our #1 and possibly our best hitter too....

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