WASHINGTON — Miguel Montero on Wednesday said he takes responsibility for ripping pitcher Jake Arrieta after the Nationals ran wild in a victory over the Cubs on Tuesday.
But after getting designated for assignment by the Cubs, he also didn’t back down from what he said.
“Sometimes people can’t handle the truth,” he said. “That’s my biggest issue. I’m just straightforward, man, a straight shooter. I’m not going to say you’re pretty when you’re ugly.”
After the Nationals stole a franchise-record seven bases against Arrieta and Montero, all in the first four innings, and won 6-1, Montero blamed Arrieta’s slow delivery to the plate for not giving him a chance to throw anybody out. Cubs manager Joe Maddon and the Nats’ runners also cited Arrieta’s slow time.
“It really sucked because the stolen bases go to me, and when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time,” Montero said with little emotion in his voice. “So it’s just like, ‘Yeah, OK, Miggy can’t throw nobody out.’ But my pitcher doesn’t hold anybody on.’’
After his comments blew up on broadcast and social media, Montero got a call from the front office, and he reached out to -Arrieta.
“I actually called Jake to apologize for my comments, and he was fine,” Montero said. “He said, ‘You’re not wrong.’
“He called me this morning when he found out the news and said he felt bad. It is what it is.”
Said Arrieta: “I love Miggy. He’ll say some things from the heart, and he’s open and honest. I told him that I’m not upset or mad at him. … There was a lot of honesty there. I didn’t do him any favors.
“It’s sad to see him go.”
Anthony Rizzo, during his weekly paid appearance on ESPN 1000 on Wednesday, called out Montero for calling out Arrieta.
“When you point fingers, you’re labeling yourself as a selfish player,” Rizzo said. “We have another catcher that throws everyone out.”
Montero is 0-for-31 against attempted stealers this year.
“I was being honest, and they know I’m right,” Montero said. “I didn’t mean to throw anybody under the bus, which I wasn’t doing. I didn’t want it to be seen that way. It’s just that it was frustrating for me, too.
“But I’m responsible.”
Montero, who was in the final year of a contract that pays him $14 million, said he expects to continue playing with another team. The Cubs expect to trade him.
“I’m blessed to actually play for the Cubs, and to [win] the World Series,” he said. “Too bad it had to end up this way.”