CHICAGO (AP) — Ben Zobrist was joined by Chicago Cubs teammates Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek in wearing black spikes on Monday despite a warning from Major League Baseball that he was in violation of the sport’s uniform regulations.
Zobrist posted a letter from MLB on Instagram on Saturday that cited him for violating regulations requiring at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player’s shoes be the club’s designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue.
The letter said Zobrist will be subject to discipline, including a fine, if he continued to wear non-compliant shoes.
Zobrist said he planned to contract Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer.
“I plan on calling Joe Torre today and seeing if we can talk about it,” Zobrist said following the Cubs’ 6-5 loss to Atlanta. “We’ll see. Maybe have an update tomorrow. My question is going to be why. We’ll see what kind of answer I get. Why now? I think all players are kind of wondering that. Hopefully I get an answer and we can move forward.”
In his Instagram post, Zobrist wrote he has worn black cleats for day games at Wrigley Field the past two years to honor the game’s past. He said he was inspired by watching highlights of greats such as Ernie Banks and Stan Musial in the 1950s and 1960s.
Players were issued black Jackie Robinson socks for Monday’s game because it was a makeup of a rainout on April 15 — which was Jackie Robinson Day throughout the major leagues.
“I was going to wear them back then, too,” Cishek said. “I just decided im going to stick with it. They gave us those cool Jackie Robinson socks; I wanted to wear the throwback spikes with them too.
“The thing with Zo that happened the other day, it’s like where did all this come from? Before, my understanding was MLB was telling the companies like New Balance and Nike they can do whatever they want. I think there is confusion among the players.”