Ex-Cub Warren on Series: ‘Being on outside looking in was tough’

TAMPA, Fla. — Reliever Adam Warren is a Yankee through and through. They drafted him in 2009. He broke into the big leagues with them in 2012 and has made all but 29 of his 205 career appearances in their employ.

Ah, but those 29 appearances — with the Cubs last season — meant a lot to him.

“I was with those guys for six months, from spring training through the first four months of the season,” he said. “They were kind of like my brothers. A lot of the guys in the bullpen, we were really close. A lot of good guys on that team.”

Warren, 29, was acquired in the Starlin Castro trade, then sent back to the Yankees last July in the deal that brought closer Aroldis Chapman to the North Side. He rooted for the Cubs in the World Series, though seeing them win it was bittersweet.

Adam Warren, last season with the Cubs. (AP/Benny Sieu)

“There was a moment right after they won Game 7 where I was like, man, that would be really fun to be there,” he said. “It’s still a goal of mine to win a World Series. It’s nice to have been a part of it, but I kind of felt like I was at arm’s length and not really a part of it because I got traded away. Being on the outside looking in was tough.”

Nothing to see here

Did Joe Maddon misuse Chapman in the 2016 postseason? Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who served in the same capacity with the Cubs from 2001 to 2010, doesn’t think so.

“No, not necessarily,” he said. “It’s the playoffs. It’s a different time of year. If you haven’t been through it, it’s a little bit different, I guess, for players to understand. But you do whatever you have to do to win games. I wasn’t surprised by it.”

Rothschild said it was apparent during Game 7 of the World Series that Chapman’s arm quickness wasn’t all the way there.

“But you don’t know that until he’s in the game and you see it,” he said.

Bleeding purple

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was an engineering major and a standout catcher at Northwestern from 1983 to 1986, earning All-America recognition as a student and All-Big Ten recognition as a player three years in a row.

Girardi is all fired up about the Wildcats these days. First, he got to enjoy the football team’s bowl victory at Yankee Stadium. Now he’s keeping tabs on the basketball team, which is chasing history.

“They’ve never made the NCAA tournament, so I’m excited,” he said. “To have a chance to go to the football game and see them play Pittsburgh — who beat Penn State and Clemson — and for them to win the game, it was exciting. And I’m proud of what they do at Northwestern because it is an academic institution, and for them to compete at this level is pretty special.”