Ben Zobrist took a leave of absence from the Cubs for a personal matter last week. Today the reason for that leave of absence has, apparently, been explained: dueling divorce filings.
Well, mostly. Zobrist has filed for legal separation from his wife, the singer Julianna Zobrist, in Tennessee, where they own a home and live during the offseason. Julianna Zobrist, meanwhile, has simultaneously filed for divorce in Chicago, where they live during the baseball season. One might infer that, given these facts, the situation is not exactly amicable or straightforward in any way. Add to this the fact that the Zobrists have three small children and you can imagine how tough a situation this is all around.
Zobrist, 37, was hitting .241 with 10 RBIs in 26 games prior to taking his leave of absence. He is in the final year of his contract with the Cubs and, given his age, his career is no doubt winding down. It’s not surprising, then, that his concerns are elsewhere at the moment. And it’s good to see that the Cubs are accommodating his needs thus far.
Yesterday Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers. In the course of the interview, Fiers revealed that he has received death threats for blowing the whistle on the Astros’ cheating. Rob Manfred said last week, before the interview came out, that Major League Baseball would do everything in its power to protect Fiers and his family both when the A’s play in Houston and when they play anyplace else.
Manfred’s pledge of protection is going to need to be expanded, because today the guys on whom Fiers blew the whistle are saying they’ve received death threats as well.
At least Josh Reddick is saying it:
It’s obviously disgraceful for anyone to have to endure this sort of crap. People need to get a grip.