Renteria ejected for arguing balls and strikes
Manager tossed after questioning strike zone during Rizzo at-bat
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria was ejected in the fifth inning of Wednesday's 8-3 loss to the White Sox after arguing with home-plate umpire Tom Woodring about balls and strikes, the third time he's been tossed this season. The rookie manager wasn't the only one not happy with the calls.
Renteria went out to talk to Woodring when he pulled starter Travis Wood from the game. Anthony Rizzo was called out on strikes to end the fifth, and the Cubs weren't happy with calls to the White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham in the fourth before he hit a three-run homer.
"I think [the frustration] stemmed from the inning before, a really good pitch to one of their players, and we didn't get the call and they go and hit the three-run homer," Rizzo said. "There were a couple of pitches that I don't need to say anything about, especially with [Starlin] Castro coming up with that matchup [against John Danks in the fifth]. It's over with now. There's nothing you can do about it."
Renteria also was tossed on April 8 by umpire Jeff Nelson and on April 30 by umpire Alan Porter, and both times were for arguing balls and strikes.
"They have a tough job," Renteria said of the umpires. "I think at certain times, we just disagree, so we let them know."
Cubs catcher Welington Castillo wasn't pleased with the calls during his at-bat in the sixth when he was called out on strikes, and said something to Woodring as well. When Castillo returned to his defensive position, he kept quiet.
"I have to respect his work, too," Castillo said. "I know what his strike zone is. I know he's trying his best. I can't control those things and I just have to keep calling my pitch and keep framing what I think is close to the plate for a strike."
Danks wasn't bothered by Woodring's calls.
"He did a good job back there," Danks said. "[The called strike three to Rizzo] is a pitch that I think it's a strike. Obviously, hitters and pitchers look at things differently but, yeah, I'm not going to apologize for it."
Rizzo obviously saw it differently.
"We're battling, we're competing," Rizzo said. "We all show emotion out there -- we're not trying to show an umpire up or someone else up. It's emotion, we want to win, we're competitors. At the end of the day, we have to answer the questions and not other people."
The Cubs' single-season record for manager ejections is seven, shared by Johnny Evers (1913) and Frankie Frisch (1950). Rookie manager Mike Quade was the most recent to challenge the mark when he was tossed six times in 2011. Jim Lefebvre also was ejected six times in the 1993 season.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.