MILWAUKEE – Ben Zobrist got his ring. And as far as he’s concerned that’s enough.
Unlike two of last year’s Kansas City Royals teammates, Zobrist said he wasn’t miffed when he didn’t get invited to join the team on its traditional visit to the White House for the 2015 championship on the Cubs’ off day Thursday.
“I didn’t feel snubbed,” said the Cubs’ second baseman. “They did enough for me. I don’t feel like they need to do anything more for me.”
Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto and free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes, both of whom played with Zobrist in Kansas City after being acquired near the trade deadline, said they were surprised and disappointed they weren’t invited.
Cueto told the San Jose Mercury News that it was the Royals’ “responsibility” to invite him. “I believe that I earned it,” he said through an interpreter.
The Royals told the Kansas City Star they restricted invitations to players who were on the team all year and who were not on another team now.
Other teams, such as the Giants in recent years, have invited players from the title teams who had moved on.
The Royals’ decision seemed fine with Zobrist, who played a major part in the title run, especially during a hot-hitting postseason.
“I think when you sign with a different team after you just won a championship with them, I don’t think you should expect to get to do everything that that team does the next year in regards to the championship,” he said.
Besides, he said, he probably wouldn’t have given up his off day to travel on his own for the trip even if invited.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore drove from Kansas City to St. Louis to personally deliver Zobrist’s World Series ring in April.
Notes: Shortstop Addison Russell left Sunday’s game in the fourth inning because of a bruised heel that worsened since he hit it with his bat on a backswing Saturday night. He’s day to day. … Six-time All-Star closer Joe Nathan was activated from the DL after a lengthy rehab from Tommy John surgery and made his Cubs debut in the sixth. He gave up a triple and walk, then struck out Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter. “It was like Opening Day for me,” he said. “The adrenaline was through the roof. I needed a defibrillator running in from the bullpen.” … After playing two games since his month on the disabled list for a hamstring injury, center fielder Dexter Fowler was out of the lineup Sunday for “general body soreness,” Maddon said. He drew a pinch-hit walk in the ninth and was expected back in the lineup Monday. … Right-hander Adam Warren goes into the rotation at AAA Iowa after being optioned to make room on the roster for Nathan. Maddon said the Cubs still are considering a second-half spot start for him but haven’t discussed a more specific timeframe for it.