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And the first manager to get ejected this season is …

Apr 9, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Rick Renteria Cubs Getty Images

It took a while, but last night we got our first manager ejection of the season when rookie Cubs skipper Rick Renteria was tossed by umpire Jeff Nelson for arguing about a 1-2 pitch that was called a ball.

Carrie Muskat of MLB.com notes that Renteria was also the first manager to use an instant replay challenge this season, so he’s a real trailblazer.

For whatever it’s worth, MLB.com’s PitchFX system showed Jose Veras‘ pitch to Jordy Mercer as slightly outside the strike zone, so the umpire’s call was correct. Mercer also ended up grounding out later in the at-bat anyway and the ejection didn’t motivate the Cubs, who failed to score in the bottom of the inning on the way to a one-run loss.

But still. Good to get on the board early, Rick!

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  1. historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    How do we not have a betting pool on this? First manager tossed. First player. Etc.

    • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      The first player will be Brett Lawrie. He’s a simmering cauldron of douche-rage who strikes out a lot. His swing has a gaping hole in it, since he falls into it and pops everything away from him, so pitchers feel free to own the middle to outer half of the plate. Then, when he shows some patience and lays off an outside or low pitch, its often a called strike. With the frustration and poor self control he’s the odds on favourite to ‘splode into a kill-rage at an umpire.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        Can Canadians have rage? Aren’t they like constitutionally incapable of such things? Like the perpetual cold freezes all heat?

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        We’re as rage-capable as the next person. We just do it a bit differently is all. So, rather than seize a firearm and lay down a hail of bullets we tend to get all sarcastic and testy. When that fails we repel invaders and burn their capital.

      • nbjays - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Nope, we can rage with the best of them. But we’ll spend a week saying “Sorry” afterward.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        And then apologize, of course.

      • southpaw2k - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        historiophiliac – have you not see the Montreal Canadiens’ fans?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        Honey, I try not to mingle with the folks responsible for poutine dogs at Comerica.

      • paperlions - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        We just submitted an NSF proposal and the lead-PI is Canadian. She’s kind of awesome and funny as hell. Any time she messed up anything, she would just start chanting “sorry” in Canadian….she probably said it between 7-15 times for each apology.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        paper has a Canadian crush!

  2. renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Not a Cubs fan but I really want them see win the NL central division this year.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Well starting an outfield like Kalish/Sweeney/Shierholtz they are sure to do it.

      If….getting….25-30 total HRs from your entire outfield is enough to win any division in baseball.

      God how I don’t miss Theo Epstein in Boston.

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        They should apply the Moneyball technique.

      • Wesley Clark - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Let me preface this by saying that I am a Cubs fan. Lifelong. They should have traded Schierholtz last July. Last yeat was going to be the height of his value. I also think Junior Lake needs to play. They need to see what they have there. Your point about the quality of the “starting” outfield is spot on. Even in a rebuilding year/decade/century, take your pick, that is a craptacular outfield.

        I will say this about the Epstein/Hoyer plan, there is actual hope for the future. The minor league system is stacked. Hopefully some of the prosprects can make it to the big league team this year.

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        I’m just waitin for Kris Bryant taste the big leagues for the 1st time in his career. Guy’s got huge potential.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Wesley, that was one of my biggest issues with Esptein.

        Signing terrible, weak-hitting players to start at power-positions like the corner infield and outfield, and blocking other players.

        Guys like Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss being moved and then having big years while guys like Darnell McDonald and Mark Kotsay were constantly holding a roster spot drove me nuts.

      • Wesley Clark - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        @tfbuckfutter – I agree with that. I lived in the Bay Area when the A’s traded for Reddick. I remember thinking at the time that it was a complete steal for them. He was never really given a chance with the Sox. The other issue that I see with the current composotion of the Cubs Minor League talent is the lack of good, quality arms. I imagine that they will draft a couple of College pitchers this year, but it would suck to have an explosive offense and no pitching.

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Sounds like Renteria was pleasantly surprised he was such a “trailblazer” for the 2014 season.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/27334974/v31935057/pitchc-renteria-talks-about-ejection-castros-bat/?query=renteria%2Bejected

  4. drs76109 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    I watched a Cubs game the other day and saw him and thought, “Who is that?”

    • southpaw2k - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      I had the same reaction when I read the Cubs’ manager is Rick Renteria now. I knew that Sveum was fired, but if I was on Jeopardy and the Final Jeopardy question was, “He replaced Dale Sveum as the Chicago Cubs’ manager in 2014,” I would have answered with a big “?”.

  5. Bar None - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I think the argument from Renteria had less to do with balls and strikes and more to do with giving Veras some confidence. He has been struggling out of the gate and for the manager to come out and “have your back” often times will do something to the player that gets on track and “having the manager’s back”. Doesn’t always work, but some times it does.

  6. coryfor3 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    My money was on Lloyd McClendon

  7. candlestickkid - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Yea, but arguing balls and strikes is important. Just look how often that works… uh… NEVER. Any manager/coach that does that is doing it to get himself tossed and trying to motivate his players, or at least make it look like he’s not sleeping at the wheel. Wouldn’t that be funny? Ump; “Yea, you’re right, Coach. That’s strike three. Batter, you’re out.”.

  8. chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Six games in and he’s already cracking. He’ll be wandering down Waveland in his underwear soon, muttering about Starlin Castro’s defense.

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