Maddon says his ejection unfair to Hendricks

Maddon says his ejection unfair to Hendricks

ST. LOUIS -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon had yet to hear from Major League Baseball officials regarding his ejection in the ninth inning on Monday and said on Tuesday he felt that his ejection by home-plate umpire Joe West detracted from pitcher Kyle Hendricks' performance.

"It wasn't necessary," Maddon said of the argument with West. "St. Louis fans are real intelligent baseball fans, and the way they reacted to [Hendricks] coming to the plate, I'm certain had he pitched a no-hitter they would have given him a St. Louis reception, and even to the point if we had to take him out of the game properly, he would have left the field in the right manner. That was so unnecessary what occurred yesterday. There was a detraction to what the moment should have felt like for everybody."

Hendricks had a no-hitter through eight innings against the Cardinals on Monday at Busch Stadium and served up a leadoff home run to Jeremy Hazelbaker in the ninth. Aroldis Chapman was getting loose in the Cubs' bullpen but needed a little more time.

West told Cubs catcher Miguel Montero that if he went to the mound, it would count as a visit.

"Technically, there are a lot of things you can do that aren't [enforced]," Maddon said. "Technically, if you ask a player to go speak to a pitcher from the dugout, which you do almost every night with every umpiring crew, technically, if you relay information from the dugout to the player to the mound, that could be considered a trip. Absolutely."

Had Maddon ever seen an umpire tell a catcher that before?

"No," he said.

The Cubs weren't sure they needed Chapman until Hazelbaker connected.

"[Chapman] was close," Maddon said. "He needed 60 seconds -- that's not an exaggeration. Thirty to 60 [seconds] to get him properly ready to get in the game, that's all we needed. That's why I wanted the guys to talk to [Hendricks]. I would have taken the slow walk out there, [Chapman] would have walked in, game hopefully would have been over and nobody would have been wiser for it or less than for it. That's exactly what happened."

Maddon and West got into an argument, and rather than exit immediately after being ejected, Maddon went to the mound to make the pitching change. All that gave Chapman enough time.

"I didn't want to call [bench coach] Davey [Martinez] out to give him the ball," Maddon said. "Normally what I do is, I put the ball in and out of [Anthony] Rizzo's glove, and I left it in his glove and said, 'Take care of it.' So Rizzo changed pitchers last night."

Montero had never seen an umpire count a catcher's trip to the mound as a visit.

"We got our time, that's all that matters," Maddon said. "My only concern there is Aroldis -- that Kyle gets his proper moment and Aroldis gets time. The fact that I get thrown out of the game, I don't care. Big deal."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.