Clevenger on ejection: 'It won't happen again'

841421.png

Clevenger on ejection: 'It won't happen again'

With the Cubs sunk in an eight-game losing streak and trailing 3-1 - not to mention three touchdowns under .500 - Steve Clevenger's ejection in the fifth inning of Thursday's 5-3 win against Cincinnati for arguing balls and strikes was, on one hand, a welcome site.

Clevenger yelled and pointed at home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson. Nelson stuck his head right back in Clevenger's face. It was dramatic. It was entertaining. It was something.

If only Clevenger weren't the catcher.

Call it growing pains or just a mental lapse, but Clevenger's decision to speak his mind mid-at-bat to the man who calls balls and strikes for his own pitchers, too, showed how young and raw this Cubs team is.

The 26-year-old argued that the pitch Nelson called a strike was in the same spot as the previous pitch, which Nelson called a ball.

"I felt the ball was outside, and the next pitch was the same exact pitch, I thought," Clevenger said. "He called it a ball. As a hitter, you can't hit like that (when) you don't know whether he's going to call a strike or ball. You can't hit like that."

TV replays showed the ball was well outside, even farther off the plate than the previous pitch, in fact.

But regardless of how calls affect his hitting, the Cubs want Clevenger thinking more like a catcher. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said after the game that a catcher needs to show more composure than Clevenger did.

Clevenger knew that, too, and apologized to Sveum after the game.

"I can't get ejected in that situation," Clevenger said. "I went up and apologized to Dale for getting ejected and said, 'Won't happen again. Can't happen.'"

Ejections aren't all that uncommon in baseball, but with a team this young, everything is a learning experience for these Cubs. Clevenger said he'll talk to Nelson, the umpire who tossed him, when he gets a chance later this season.

A catcher getting ejected while batting is a stupid mistake. But if there's any season for stupid, and learning from it, it's this one.

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for 0-3 Bears

miller-0926.jpg

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for 0-3 Bears

In Episode 6 of the Bears Talk Podcast, CSN's Chris Boden is joined by Dave Wannstedt, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, and Jim Miller to talk about what happened Week 3 in Dallas.

Hear what they have to say about all the injuries and the division game next week against Detroit. Plus it's the coach versus the quarterback in "Who Ya Got?"

Morning Update: Bears fall to Cowboys; Cubs, White Sox win

Morning Update: Bears fall to Cowboys; Cubs, White Sox win

Preview: Cubs open series with Pirates tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox host Rays in series opener tonight on CSN+

View from the Moon: Bears take another wrong step in loss to Cowboys

David Ross helps Cubs edge Cardinals in regular season home finale

Carlos Rodon strikes out 11 as White Sox top Indians

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for 0-3 Bears

Bears Grades: Brian Hoyer brings some life to offense, but too little, too late

Cubs, White Sox react to news of Jose Fernandez's death

White Sox grieve Jose Fernandez's death along with rest of MLB

Brian Kelly explains going from defending to firing Brian VanGorder

Alexandre Fortin signs three-year deal with Blackhawks

After firing Brian VanGorder, Brian Kelly puts onus on coaches to fix Irish defense