Maddon On Foster: 'He Knew He Screwed Up'

A day later, Joe Maddon was still shaking his head about Tony Kemp being rung up.

Laurence Holmes Show
August 14, 2019 - 1:35 pm
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(670 The Score) A day after watching utilityman Tony Kemp get punched out on one of the worst strike-three calls seen in recent memory, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was still shaking his head Wednesday and explained why he didn't confront home-plate umpire Marty Foster about the mistake at a key moment of the game.

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With the Cubs trailing 4-2 against the Phillies with a runner on first in the top of the ninth Tuesday, Kemp took a 1-2 fastball from closer Hector Neris that was clearly up and away, but Foster rung him up for the first out of the inning. The location had a 0.0 percent chance of being called a strike based on the history of other pitches in the same spot, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The Cubs' rally attempt would fall short. 

While Maddon and the Cubs were visibly upset by the call, he didn't leave the dugout. Part of it had to do with his confrontations with Foster in the past. In other words, Maddon had seen worse, notably when Foster called out Ben Zobrist on a pitch down and away to seal a Rays' loss to the Rangers back in 2013.

"First of all, Marty Foster is a really good fellow," Maddon said on the Laurence Holmes Show. "No. 2, Google or YouTube the time he called Ben Zobrist out on a strike three against Joe Nathan couple years ago that gave Joe Nathan his 300th save. That was even worse than last night. So, Marty can be an easy target. I don't want to go out there. I was yelling at him from the dugout. I'd been through that before with him, so there's history involved that I did not want to take to another level last night. I wanted to believe he knew he screwed up in the worst moment. And how about Tony, how well he handled that whole thing afterward? I give him credit, because he was much more civil than I could have possibly been. But Marty has had those moments before, and I've been involved in them. Again, there's a human thing involved in that, that I just backed off a little bit there. I think he knew how badly he'd screwed up."

You can listen to Maddon's full interview with Holmes below.