There’s no lip reading required to figure out why Cubs manager Joe Maddon was pissed off in Sunday’s 7-4 win over the Padres. Home plate umpire Ryan Blakney’s strike zone was indecipherable all day—both teams complained about it—so in the eighth inning, Maddon had had enough.
WGN’s mics picked up most of the Cubs manager’s jeering. “Hey! Let’s go!” Maddon yelled at Blakney. “The whole game—you screwed up the whole game. I got one pitcher left. Let’s go! Wake up! That’s bullshit!”
Even though Maddon was practically begging to be tossed, he wasn’t. What was key here is that the manager was calling the officiating bullshit, not the person doing the officiating. Depending on the umpire’s temperament, they can have a longer leash for that kind of verbal abuse.
When Blakney finally called a strike in the at-bat, you can hear Maddon yell “Okay!” It’s no “ass in the jackpot,” but it’ll do.
H/t to Steve