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.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended and fined for his actions during Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rays. Boone was ejected from Game 1 after making contact with home plate umpire Brennan Miller and will not be available to manage the Yankees during their series opener against the Rockies on Friday.
The ejection was triggered by a missed strikeout call in the second inning of Game 1, prompting Boone to run out to home plate and deliver one of his lengthier and more bizarre rants of the season. Incensed by Miller’s shaky grasp of the strike zone, Boone repeatedly referred to his players as “f***ing savages” and told the umpire to “tighten this s**t up.”
Exactly when the illicit contact came into play remains unclear, but crew chief Gerry Davis later commented on the situation and said Boone had crossed some boundaries during his tirade. Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch: “You’re not allowed to argue balls and strikes, so yeah. Yes he did [go too far]. That will all be in the report.”
In his own statements to the press, Boone defended his use of the word “savages,” claiming, “I always just want our guys all the time controlling the strike zone and making it hard on the pitchers. That’s something those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup.” Several Yankees players, including Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, backed up the skipper’s decision to confront Miller as well, though Voit was the only player to explicitly support Boone’s use of the term.