Ben Zobrist

Ben Zobrist cheers on his wife during her Today Show appearance

Ben Zobrist cheers on his wife during her Today Show appearance

Ben Zobrist does just about everything for the Cubs, but it's always been clear that his family comes first, making that apparent Monday morning when his wife was a guest on the 'Today Show'. 

Zobrist's wife Julianna shares his versatility as a singer, speaker, and writer - it's well known that Zobrist's walk-up music is a cover of Elton John's Benny and the Jets being sung by his wife. 

Julianna was on the Today Show promoting her new book, "Pull It Off", where she gives advice on how to face your fears and get to where you want to go in life. The book comes out September 18th and more details can be found on Julianna's website

 

Ben Zobrist continues Cubs trend of commuting to a game in uniform

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USA TODAY

Ben Zobrist continues Cubs trend of commuting to a game in uniform

The Cubs are in a brutal stretch of reporting to the ballpark 30 days in-a-row. From what we've seen this week, though, they have not lost their sense of humor.

Sunday, Ben Zobrist was spotted riding his bike in full-uniform to Wrigley Field for the Cubs' game against the Reds. Describing the moment doesn't do it any justice, so take a look:

Awesome, right? Of course, Sunday is not the first time Zobrist has done this, as he actually did the same thing back in 2016, PF Flyer cleats include as well.

Is Zobrist a trendsetter? Maybe, as Sunday marks the third time this week that a Cubs player has traveled for a game in full-uniform.

Anthony Rizzo wore his uniform on the team's flight to Washington D.C. for Thursday's make-up game against the Nationals, while Javier Báez joined Rizzo in doing so on the team's flight home. The players added some comedic relief to the fact that the Cubs lost what would have been their first day off since Aug. 20. 

In the end, baseball is a child's game, so it's nice to see the Cubs keeping things in perspective and having fun during this tough 30-day stretch.

Joe Maddon lobbies for Ben Zobrist after controversial call

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AP

Joe Maddon lobbies for Ben Zobrist after controversial call

Ben Zobrist may very well win National League Comeback Player of the Year but before that's decided, he has another battle on hand: A batting title.

The 37-year-old veteran entered play Tuesday sitting third in the NL in batting average and he finished the night the same way...

...but he actually should've finished one spot higher.

Leading off the second inning Tuesday night, Zobrist hit a sharp grounder to the right of the second-base bag. Brewers second baseman Jonathan Schoop was playing in shallow right in a shift and had to charge the ball hard on the outfield grass, failing to come up with the play:

Because the ball went under Schoop's glove, it was ruled an error and Zobrist picked up an 0-for-1 instead of a 1-for-1.

Adding just that one hit in Zobrist's favor bumps his season average up from .312 to .314, leapfrogging Milwaukee's Christian Yelich (.313 AVG) in the process on a night where the Brewers star went 0-for-3. Both players still trail Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (.321 AVG).

The crazy thing about the play was that even if Schoop fielded the ball cleanly, he still may not have gotten Zobrist at first base given he would've had to throw on the run with his momentum moving away from first base.

Zobrist said he thought that should've been ruled a hit all the way and pointed to how far Schoop was into the outfield as the highlight popped up on a TV in the Cubs clubhouse.

His manager agrees.

Unprompted, Joe Maddon brought the scoring decision up after Tuesday's 3-0 victory and lobbied for a change inside Major League Baseball.

"I'd like to rally for one change in scoring right now," Maddon said. "I think if a second baseman's playing on the outfield grass and a ball is hit to him and he's not able to complete the play, the left-handed hitter should get a hit on that play. If you want to create some kind of fairness or standard in the game, you've already put the guy at a disadvantage by putting the fielder at such a depth situation. 

"And then when he has to run that far and attempt to make a play and then [the hitter doesn't] get rewarded and to penalize the defense, I don't think that's accurate. So I'd like to really just put that out there to be talked about. Our guys have been hurt a little bit [by the scoring]. 

"It's tough — they go out there and they're already set up defensively. I'm not complaining because I was involved in the [inception of the] shift thing several years ago. But if the guy can't make a play and he starts on the grass and ends on the grass, you gotta give that guy a hit, 'cause that is no longer a routine play. 

"Last point — when you're fielding the ball off the grass, it's totally different than fielding it off the dirt. There's a differnt everything about it."

All's well that ends well in the team sense, as Zobrist scored the Cubs' first run later in that second inning and his team wound up with a 3-0 victory and another game of distance on the Brewers in the standings.

But for a guy who's never even hit over .300 in a season or sniffed a batting title, it's still a tough pill for Zobrist to swallow.

Even if Zobrist can maintain this pace, there's another factor that may be working against him down the stretch.

In order to qualify for a batting title, a player has to notch 3.1 plate appearances per team game, or 502 trips to the dish. Zobrist is just barely averaging that at the moment and still needs 52 plate appearances in the Cubs' final 18 games (2.8 per game) to finish among the qualifiers.

With Maddon resting the 37-year-old Zobrist a coulpe times a week all season and the veteran dealing with the usual aches and pains of a long year, it might be hard for him to notch those 52 plate appearances.