- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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Rookie Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger said Friday he apologized to manager Dale Sveum for getting ejected during an at-bat when the umpire called a ball during Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
“I can’t get thrown out in that situation,” Clevenger said. “I went out and apologized to Dale for being ejected, and I said it won’t happen again. It can’t happen.”
It was an unusual scene -- a player griping about a favorable call and then getting tossed. Clevenger’s first responsibility, like any catcher, is good relations with the umpires. He believed Nelson had missed the previous pitch that he called a strike. The lip reading was easy to detect. “That was the same (exact ) pitch,” Clevenger said to Nelson. Welington Castillo completed the ejected Clevenger’s at-bat by striking out, which was charged to Clevenger.
Clevenger said he also plans on apologizing to Nelson.
“We will talk,” Clevenger said. “Yesterday was yesterday and today is today. You have to get over it and just can’t worry about it and can’t dwell on it.”
Sveum accepted Clevenger’s apology and hopes Nelson and the rest of the umpire crew would as well once Clevenger talks to them.
“You hope everybody is professional about it and move on,” Sveum said. “It is just part of the game sometimes as frustration takes over. It was quick, it was over with, it was not a big deal.”
Part of Clevenger’s reaction is standing up to the new responsibility he takes on as the primary catcher on this young Cubs team.
”Hey, I thought the ball was outside and the next pitch was the same as that pitch I thought,” he said. “He thought it was a ball but as hitter you can’t hit like that. But like I said, yesterday is yesterday and today is a new day.”
Clevenger said if this was his first couple of weeks in the big leagues he would not had voiced his opinion.
“I probably wouldn’t have said anything, but I have had a couple of (pitches) called on me on the outer half of the plate that were called strikes, so it was one of those days. I didn’t like it.”