After ejection, Cubs understand Renteria's frustration

After ejection, Cubs understand Renteria's frustration
May 8, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

For such a mild-mannered, seemingly patient guy, how is it that Rick Renteria has been thrown out of games three times already this season?

Entering play Thursday, the Cubs were tied for the fewest wins in Major League Baseball (11) and only the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres had scored fewer runs.

Renteria showed a little bit of that frustration at U.S. Cellular Field, letting off some steam on home plate umpire Tom Woodring.

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"I don't like being ejected," Renteria said before Thursday's Crosstown finale. "[Umpires] do a great job. It's a very difficult job that they do. It's not my intent to ever try to show up an umpire or try to make them feel uncomfortable in their job.

"You can pick on them as much as you can and you'd probably get the same result and make them more and more uncomfortable. Last night happened. It's over and today's a new day."

It was Renteria's third ejection in the Cubs' first 32 games. If you extrapolate that out for a full season, it'd be somewhere around 15-16 ejections at this pace.

Renteria was the first skipper to get tossed in the league this year, earning his first ejection on April 8. Through Wednesday's games, there had been 15 managerial ejections around the league and only one other manager has been tossed more than once (Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon has been thrown out twice).

With instant replay institued around the league, many believed there would be fewer managerial ejections, since skippers would have challenges at their disposal on close calls. But Renteria's issue has been arguing balls and strikes, as was the case Wednesday night.

Cubs pitcher Travis Wood and catcher Welington Castillo were visibly frustrated with Woodring's pitch calls. Renteria was trying to stick up for his players and even admitted Woodring was patient with the Cubs manager.

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"You have to stand up for your guys," Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Thursday. "When your players are frustrated and your coaching staff is frustrated, there's times you have to vocalize that.

"Obviously, there's fewer ejections now with instant replay, so those kinda things stand out more. I've got no issue. I understood his frustration."

The Cubs are in the middle of a four-game losing streak, coming on the heels of their first three-game winning streak in almost a calendar year. Despite the moments of frustration he has shown in games, Hoyer and the Cubs front office is happy with the job he's done as a positive influence in the clubhouse.

"He creates a great environment with these guys," Hoyer said. "We have a lot of guys ... that are playing much better than last year. We've given him a very young team. We've given him a very young bullpen that doesn't have a lot of experience. I think he's managed that really well.

"I like the tone. Obviously, the results, the wins and losses are probably no different than it was with [former manager Dale Sveum]. We're not in a place right now where we're going to evaluate them based on the standings in the paper in the morning."