Zumaya expresses remorse a day later
CHICAGO (AP)—A day later, Joel Zumaya acknowledged he acted like a “jerk” and vowed it will never happen again.
The Detroit Tigers reliever yelled an obscenity at plate umpire Mark Wegner while he was on the mound Wednesday and had more harsh words for him on the way to the dugout after struggling in the Tigers’ 6-2 win over the White Sox.
Thursday’s game was rained out, giving Zumaya time to reflect on his actions.
“You can’t be a jerk like that,” he said. “You have to be confident and straightforward like I am. It was very embarrassing last night.”
Zumaya came in after Chad Durbin pitched eight shutout innings, and ran into trouble with two outs. He hit A.J. Pierzynski with an 0-2 pitch and walked the next four batters, forcing in two runs, before Todd Jones retired Brian Anderson on a grounder to third.
“My apologies go to the umpire,” Zumaya said. “I actually wanted to talk to him and tell him, ‘That’s not me’ and if he would forgive me for disrespecting him. It was very stupid. I was disappointed and embarrassed (for) yelling at the umpire for no reason.”
The White Sox have their own issues. Especially Anderson.
He lost the center-field job to newcomer Darin Erstad in spring training and has done little to boost his image in the limited time he’s seen this season. He’s 2-for-17—a .118 average—after batting .225 a year ago. The White Sox opted not to have Anderson start the season in the minors, but Guillen acknowledged the player and club are in a “tough situation.”
“If Brian was playing at least decent last year, we don’t have any room for Erstad to come here,” Guillen said.
Anderson batted in the ninth because Guillen chose not to use sluggers Jermaine Dye or Jim Thome, who were nursing minor injuries. Guillen said Dye (strained glut) was ready to play Thursday and will be in the lineup Friday, but Thome (mild irritation of his right rib cage) might have to wait a few days.
That was news to Thome, who said he was “ready to rock” and feels “much, much better.”
Told about Guillen’s comment, Thome said, “A couple more days? As a player, you come and want to be ready to go every day. We’ll see what happens. We’ll do our work and get going (Friday).”
No makeup date has been set for Thursday’s game. Both teams pushed their starting rotation back a day, so Detroit’s Nate Robertson will pitch against Minnesota and Chicago’s Jose Contreras will go against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.