Updated 9:10am CDT , September 21 – Cubs Will Not Release Kevin Gregg for his actions on Friday
There is a pretty good chance that Kevin Gregg had a Friday afternoon he would like to forget.
After imploding on the mound and equaling a season-worst four runs allowed on just three hits, Gregg proceeded to blame his poor performance on the Cubs decision to use Pedro Strop in the closer’s role without telling him. Gregg said, through the media, that “professional courtesy would have been nice” and he “expected to be treated a little better than this.” Gregg blasted the organization that gave him a chance to close games for another summer after he did not make the Dodgers’ roster out of Spring Training.
Theo Epstein found out what Gregg told the media and called him into Dale Sveum’s office. Epstein said that Gregg apologized and went onto explain that Gregg misunderstood what Dale Sveum had told him. Epstein said he would decide on what disciplinary action he would take after he had a chance to sleep on it but did not rule out releasing Gregg on Saturday.
Gregg actually made the long hike from the Cubs’ clubhouse to the press box to issue an apology to the front office through the same media he used to air his grievances with earlier in the afternoon.
Kevin Gregg reached a $500,000 performance bonus on Friday when he finished his 50th game of the season.
After nearly two seasons without any public drama in the clubhouse, this is the third incident in the last week and this one is over saving games for a 90-loss team with eight games remaining against the Braves, Pirates and Cardinals.
Theo Epstein was not happy with the remarks that Gregg made in public and addressed the situation with the media after he and Sveum met with Gregg.
Epstein explained, “He ran to the media. That was his decision, I told him, as a man, I didn’t respect that.” Epstein added, “I told him how disappointed I was, given the way we’ve treated him this year and bringing him back to Chicago and showing faith in him. I think it took him a couple minutes to understand he had misunderstood Dale and he ultimately apologized to Dale and me.”
Kevin Gregg said that he understands where Theo Epstein is coming from and he realizes that he has an organization to run and look after.