Joe Maddon goes on fiery rant blasting A-Rod for his ‘irresponsible’ comments
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Two days after Alex Rodriguez criticized injured Yu Darvish, Cubs manager Joe Maddon went on a fiery rant blasting Rodriguez for his “irresponsible” commentary.
During Sunday’s EPSN broadcast of the Cubs-Cardinals game, Rodriguez suggested that Darvish was “losing respect” in the clubhouse because the Cubs “let him basically police and take control of his own rehab.” He also accused the 31-year-old righty of being a distraction to his teammates and questioned his commitment to the game.
Maddon was made aware of the comments after the game and said on Sunday that he “totally disagreed” with Rodriguez’s accusations. But Tuesday afternoon, the Cubs skipper went off during a weekly phone interview with 670 the Score, calling A-Rod’s comments “plastic” and “probably rehearsed.”
“I was really shocked by the whole diatribe, in a sense of a soliloquy,” Maddon said on the Bernstein & McKnight Show. “It was definitely not extemporaneous. And that really is a concern, too. Because if you walk into our locker trying to substantiate something, you’ve already made up your mind to do that. That’s kind of bothersome. These [national broadcasters], they see us two or three times here. They’re not in the presence of all of our guys. They really have no business making those kinds of comments.”
Maddon said he doesn’t want to “empower” Rodriguez and made it clear that his comments were out of line.
“From our perspective, nobody contaminates our state,” Maddon said. “You as an individual should not permit it, we as a group are not going to permit it. We have a very tightly knit group. These guys are wonderful. They interact so well together, not only among themselves but also coaches, front office, etc. It’s a very tightly knit group. So when you attempt to come into our sanctum and say or make those kind of comments in a predetermined negative way, I don’t take kindly to that.”
The Cubs put Darvish on the disabled list for a second time this season back in May with triceps tendinitis. He hasn’t played a major league game since May 20.
Darvish, who is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts this season, has been heavily criticized for not living up to the six-year, $126 million deal the Cubs signed him to in February.
Maddon said the team has reassured Darvish that Rodriguez was wrong.
“Yu needs to know that, coming into the situation he has and not being able to perform based on an injury,” Maddon said. “It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult to be that guy when you’re walking around and you got something wrong and you know you want to be out there. You know you can help, and it’s tough. It’s very tough mentally on that person.”
Maddon then warned Rodriguez that he “has to be careful, because now he can really sully his reputation in other clubhouses based on this irresponsible moment.”
Maddon’s rant comes after Darvish’s agent, Joel Wolfe, told The Athletic that Rodriguez’s comments were “classless and bordered on unprofessional.”
“During A-Rod’s absurd comments, the video shows that Darvish was right there on the top step in the dugout cheering on his teammates, which is what you want from somebody like that,” Wolfe said. “He wasn’t hiding out in Mesa at the spring-training complex or back home like A-Rod was when he was suspended.”