August 15, 2018

Ben Zobrist Ejected After Telling Phil Cuzzi He Is One Reason Players Want Robot Umps

Ben Zobrist was ejected from a game for the first time in his career after telling plate umpire Phil Cuzzi that players would prefer robot umpires.
When you have good, quality at-bats as a hitter and you feel like it's kinda taken away from you, you want some sort of an answer. Or you want to be assured that they're gonna go back and make an adjustment and that's what I asked for. ... [H]e didn't want to talk about that. He didn't want me to tell him that. I just basically said, 'Well that's why we want an electronic strike zone.' ... [I]t's frustrating when you feel like you know the zone and I feel like the at-bat was taken away from me. ...

That's what obviously got me tossed. I'm not going to lie. I think he was going toss me anyway, before I said that, just because I wouldn't go away. ... He knows I'm not going to argue if it's close. I rarely do that. I know the zone pretty well I feel like. If it's close I'm going to walk back. This one I knew. I knew it was never on the plate. I didn't need to look on the video. I got animated, at first, and he didn't even want me to be animated about it. I was told that later.
Cuzzi called Zobrist out on an outside pitch in the sixth inning. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the strike three pitch is called a strike 44.7% of the time.

I posted almost exactly one year ago that Zobrist wants an electronic zone.

If you think Phil Cuzzi has any business working as a major league umpire, check this out:

Whoever heard of someone walking on a 1-6 count?

I also wrote about Cuzzi after his horrible performance on September 26, 2010. The Yankees took 19 pitches thrown by Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning and Cuzzi blew the call on eight of them. He got 42% of the pitches wrong!

I wish more players were as vocal about this issue as Zobrist.

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