Cubs' Albert Almora Calls Ben Zobrist's Defiance Of MLB Cleat Color Guidelines 'Awesome'

"We're just voicing our opinion," Almora says.

McNeil & Parkins Show
May 15, 2018 - 2:34 pm
Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr.

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(670 The Score) Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. was proud of teammate Ben Zobrist for defying MLB's warning about violating the league's uniform guidelines, as Zobrist on Monday again wore black cleats that have raised a controversy because they aren't the team's dominant color.

"I did see what Benny put up, and from the standpoint of being his teammate and seeing what he did, the reasons he gave, it was really awesome," Almora said in an interview with Danny Parkins on 670 The Score on Tuesday afternoon. "It was awesome. I went up to him and said, 'That was incredible.' We're not trying to get in an argument here with MLB. We're just voicing our opinion and rightfully so."

Zobrist has been wearing black spikes during day games at Wrigley Field for the past two years as a tribute to former MLB players who dressed similarly in much earlier eras. Until recently, the league hadn't expressed any displeasure about Zobrist's habit, but Zobrist revealed over the weekend that MLB has threatened to fine and further discipline him if he keeps wearing black cleats. Cleats need to be comprised of at least 51 percent of the team's dominant color, per MLB guidelines.

Zobrist has publicly expressed his disdain, asking for leniency from MLB on the issue. Zobrist wore the spikes in a 6-5 loss to the Braves on Monday, when both teams' players wore No. 42 on the uniforms in honor of Jackie Robinson in a makeup game after the usual April 15 celebration of one of the game's greats was rained out.

MLB also has also informed Cubs catcher Willson Contreras that he needs to stop wearing his Venezuelan arm sleeve. Almora also expressed his support for Contreras.

"I don't know what they're trying to do or their reasoning behind it is, but I'm sure our union, they're in talks to try to work something out," Almora said.

"I don't know what's going on. I don't know what they're trying to do. I know last year (Contreras) did it, and no one said anything. He's doing it for a good reason. He's not doing it just to show off or whatever. He's doing because what's going on in that country is tough. He's from there and loves his country. I respect that. I don't see any guys going and doing something for the wrong raeson. If they do have diffefrent color cleats, most of the time it's to spread awareness for something or in memory of a family member or whatnot. I don't know what's going on. It's really unfortunate."