News came Wednesday that Chicago Cubs utility man Ben Zobrist, the 2016 World Series MVP, will be absent from the team for a while.
Personal reasons, the Cubs stated about the Eureka native's departure. No timetable was given for Zobrist's return.
More than one person has contacted Nick in the Morning to ask if we have inside information regarding Zobrist's situation. We don't.
But judging from comments Cubs manager Joe Maddon made Wednesday, whatever is troubling Zobrist might not be a recent development.
Zobrist reported a few days late to spring training in February, also for a personal matter. The 37-year-old is off to a subpar start, with only a .241 batting average and one extra-base hit.
Maddon suggested Zobrist's personal travails might be playing a role in his on-field performance.
"Yes, he would be the first to admit that he wasn't quite himself," Maddon said, according to a story from WSCR-AM (670) in Chicago. "We are just wanting this to work out for him obviously and be patient with the whole thing."
Maddon plans to stay in touch with Zobrist, regardless of how long he is gone from the team.
"Those are the things you do in these moments," Maddon said. "You think about your internal relationships with your family. You never run away from your folks, from your people regardless of how awful the situation is or seem you need to be there for them."
We aren't going to speculate beyond that about what's going on with Zobrist or his family. We just hope it gets resolved in a satisfactory way and he returns to the diamond soon.