Almora On Cubs' Style: 'Not Going To Take Crap'

"We play hard, and we have a lot of fun doing it," Albert Almora Jr. says.

Laurence Holmes Show
June 25, 2019 - 1:57 pm
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(670 The Score) A day after Cubs catcher Willson Contreras engaged in a heated exchange with Braves catcher Tyler Flowers regarding some baseball protocol as it relates to player-umpire relations, Chicago outfielder Albert Almora Jr. shared the team's mindset, which might as well be a slogan for the organization.

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"We're playing the game the right way," Almora said at the Cubs On Deck luncheon with Laurence Holmes on 670 The Score. "We play hard, and we have a lot of fun doing it. But we're not going to take any crap from anybody."

In the Cubs' 8-3 win at Wrigley Field on Monday, Contreras and Flowers had a war of words after Contreras hit a solo homer in the second inning. Immediately upon hitting the blast, Contreras shouted something back at Flowers and celebrated flamboyantly. They then got into it as Contreras touched home plate, leading the benches to clear. No punches were thrown, and no one was ejected.

Contreras was upset with a strike call by home plate umpire John Tumpane earlier in the at-bat and said as much. He believed Flowers wrongly inserted himself into the conversation, which set Contreras off.

In the aftermath, Flowers shared his belief that Contreras was the instigator.

"He wasn’t happy with the umpire, on the second strike," Flowers told reporters. "For some reason he felt inclined to say something to me after he hit the ball ... He started saying something well before he got to the plate. I don’t know, I’m pretty sure he flexed or something as he left the box. Honestly it wasn’t about me, it was about him showing up the pitcher in that kind of situation. That was more my issue with it.

"I’ve got no problem with him saying anything to me, but when it starts to reflect on my pitcher on the mound and our team, that’s more of an issue for me."

On Tuesday, Contreras doubled down in his belief that he was in the right and Flowers was in the wrong.

"I was just having a conversation with the umpire," Contreras said. "What bothers me was I was talking to the umpire, not even to Flowers, and he got into the conversation. So I just told him, 'Do your job, I'll do mine.' And then when I rounded the bases, I had a reminder when I got to home plate -- 'I told you do your job, and I'll do mine.' That's it. But what bothered me was he got into the conversation when I wasn't even talking to him."

Contreras had more to add.

"He's pretty good behind the plate getting pitches (framed for strikes)," Contreras said. "My conversation was only with the umpire, because he called a low pitch on Kyle Schwarber too that wasn't close to the strike zone. And that was my complaint. And all of a sudden he got into the conversation, which irritates. I'm glad that I kept my focus on my at-bat. I'm glad I was able to put the barrel on the ball. Then when I saw the ball go out of the yard, I said, 'OK, I'm going to tell him to do his job and I'll do mine.'

"It felt so good. It felt so good, especially with my emotions. I was running the bases like happy but mad -- like 50-50 ... I think that set the tone for the game."