A toss for words: Rick Renteria says he’s not targeted by umps
BY DAN McGRATH For Sun-Times Media June 7, 2014 9:50PM
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 7: Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs (R) laughs with second baseman Darwin Barney #15 as they walk off the field after the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field June 7, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 477584601
marlins at cubs
The facts: 1:20 p.m., CSN, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 2.62 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.00).
Updated: July 9, 2014 6:41AM
With four ejections in the Cubs’ first 59 games, Rick Renteria is outperforming some of baseball’s most notorious umpire combatants.
Bobby Cox is the career leader with 161 ejections, or one every 28 games. Earl Weaver, known for his tirades as much as his .583 winning percentage, was tossed 94 times, or once every 26 games. Perhaps the most cantankerous umpire baiter of all time was Paul Richards, who was thrown out 80 times in 1,837 games managing the White Sox and Baltimore Orioles, or once every 23 games.
Although Lou Piniella’s rants live on in infamy, the former Cubs manager was rather mild-mannered on balance, tossed 63 times in his career, or once every 56 games. The reigning hothead among active managers is Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire with one every 28 games.
Renteria doesn’t believe umpires are looking to keep him in his place as a first-year manager.
“They’ve got a job to do, and it’s a difficult job,” he said. “I’m going to express myself, and if they feel I’ve crossed the line, it will happen.”
With eight of their first 10 draft picks and 21 of 40 overall going for pitchers, the Cubs continue to accumulate pitching depth throughout the organization.
“You never have enough,” scouting director Jason McLeod said, “but in our third year, we’re starting to see it at all levels.”
Along with second-round pick Jake Stinnett, a converted third baseman who led the Atlantic Coast Conference in strikeouts at Maryland, McLeod is high on high schoolers Carson Sands, Justin Steele and Dylan Cease, who were taken in rounds 4, 5 and 6.
“They’re very talented kids who were rated very highly,” he said.
All three have made college commitments, but McLeod believes the Cubs will be able to sign them.
McLeod said top pick Kyle Schwarber, a catcher at Indiana University, might become a corner outfielder, but third-round pick Mark Zagunis, from Virginia Tech, projects as a catcher.
Brad Bass, a 6-6 right-hander from Lincoln-Way Central, was the Cubs’ 33rd-round pick on Saturday. Bass has a scholarship offer from Notre Dame.
The crowd of 33,786 ended a three-game streak of sub-30,000 attendance figures. The Cubs are averaging 32,064 fans per game, 10th-best in baseball.
◆ Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton was 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in the series before he smoked a double to left in the sixth inning.
◆ Kris Bryant hit his 20th home run for Class AA Tennessee.
In 61 games, he’s batting .353 with a slugging percentage of .701 and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.162. He also has 52 RBI.