Cubs

Kris Bryant on ejection: 'I had to stick up for myself'

Kris Bryant on ejection: 'I had to stick up for myself'

There's always something wacky that occurs when the Cubs and White Sox get together for Crosstown.

The lasting image from the 2017 iteration of the rivalry may be Kris Bryant getting ejected for the first time in the big leagues and only the second time in his life.

Bryant - who was previously tossed from a Triple-A game in 2014 - was ejected in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 7-2 Cubs win after arguing a strike-three call by umpire Lance Barksdale at a ball that was pretty far off the plate.

The mild-mannered superstar is one of the nicest people in the game and rarely shows emotion of any kind.

"It's frustrating," Bryant said. "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."

After he was thrown out of the game, Bryant came back into the Cubs clubhouse and watched the replay and the rest of the contest on the TV.

Bryant wouldn't tell reporters exactly what he said to Barksdale, but he did admit he was surprised he was thrown out, especially considering he wasn't throwing his helmet or anything.

And no, Bryant did not cuss. Joe Maddon assured everybody of that.

"It was unusual for both parties," Maddon said. "Lance is normally very calm about things. I asked him what he said and he told me and I didn't think it was worth of ejection. I didn't think he'd say anything worth of ejection. That's almost like [Ben] Zobrist arguing with an umpire.

"...I asked, 'What did he say?' and I'm like 'Whoa, that's not harsh enough' I've clearly said a lot harsher than that. ... It was so awkwardly benign what he said that he would get kicked out for it. It was like, 'You gotta be kidding me.'"

Given that he wasn't swearing or throwing a visible tantrum beyond simply being upset with the strike call, it's almost humorous that Bryant - of all people - would get ejected for that.

He said he feels that if he said the same thing and reacted the same way at any other time, he would not expect to be thrown out for it.

"I've seen plenty of people get ejected before and some of their antics and what they say," Bryant said. "Sometimes, it's like, 'Wow, how are you getting away with that?' I didn't really say anything out of the ordinary.

"Like I said, you just gotta stick up for yourself in certain situations. I'm still pretty new to the league - young - but I have a pretty good understanding of the strike zone and that's all I did - just stood up for myself in that moment.

"I'm sure I'll get a chance to talk to him tomorrow. No terrible feelings. Everybody messes up and makes mistakes. I do all the time. But it just kinda stunk in that situation." 

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.

Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.

At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.

This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.

Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.

David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: