Cubs’ Joe Maddon supports Baez after Tuesday ejection; gets tossed Wednesday

SHARE Cubs’ Joe Maddon supports Baez after Tuesday ejection; gets tossed Wednesday
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Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected by umpire D.J. Reyburn in the sixth inning Wednesday night in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS – As much as young slugger Javy Baez has been through over the past month and as much work as he has get done to return to the big-leagues, the last thing the team wanted to see was Baez ticking off an umpire and getting ejected at AAA Iowa.

But in the case of Tuesday night’s ejection after a controversial reversed home run call, team officials have his back on this one.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon even followed up with an ejection of his own in Wednesday night’s game against the Cardinals – getting run from the dugout by home plate ump D.J. Reyburn before heading to the field to go off on Reyburn and then exiting.

It was Maddon’s second ejection of the season.

Baez, who’s had occasional flareups the past couple years in the minors, didn’t produce nearly as much in the way of fireworks for his ouster Tuesday night.

“He didn’t even know he got thrown out at first,” said pitcher Justin Grimm, who was with Iowa on a rehab assignment until being activated Wednesday from the disabled list. “He didn’t even say anything bad. I guess the [umpire] had enough.”

Baez hit what the home plate ump ruled a home run, high over the foul pole down the left field line off former Cy Young winner Barry Zito – until the second base umpire overruled the call and said it went foul. That’s when Iowa manager Marty Pevey went off on the ump and got ejected.

Baez finished his at-bat, eventually flying out on a warning track shot, then got tossed as he headed back to the dugout after apparently saying something on his way.

“I’m getting kicked out there, too,” Maddon said. “So I don’t blame him. I’m on board.

“How could this guy in the middle of the field discern, especially if the ball was over the pole. I wasn’t even there, but I would have gotten kicked out. I’m with Pevey, and I’m with Javy 100 percent.”

Baez, who struggled in a two-month big-league debut last summer, was sent back to the minors late in spring training. On the eve of the season opener, he took what became and extended leave after his younger sister died suddenly. And he didn’t play his first game for the I-Cubs until April 30.

“He’s in good spirits,” Grimm said. “He really is. He’s upbeat. And he’s still got that great swing. He was fun to watch in BP the other day.”

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