The Yankees made the five-year deal with Aroldis Chapman official Thursday. Chapman took to Twitter after the announcement was made and thanked the Cubs for the “support and love” he received during his time with the team. Chapman said he was “very happy and honored” to be part of the Cubs World Championship team.
Chapman held a conference call Friday to discuss and answer questions about re-signing with the Yankees. During that conference call, Chapman said he did not agree with the way he was used by the Cubs in the postseason, especially Game 6 of The World Series.
Chapman said “he never told Maddon or the Cubs his opinion on the playoff use.” Chapman explained that he knew his “job was to be ready to do whatever they needed.”
“I think he was wrong in the way he used me. He abused a little bit on how much he made me pitch, and sometimes he made me pitch when I didn’t need to pitch,” Chapman said Friday. “But he’s the manager. He knows his stuff. He manages the way he knows, the way he wants and the way he wants to win. It was his decision, and my duty is to be prepared. I prepare myself to be strong, so that my arm is healthy. Thank God I was able to do the job, and I could pitch the way he wanted me to.”
Joe Maddon made several questionable decisions in The Series, most notably in games six and seven. The bottom line is that the Cubs won The World Series.
Having Chapman start the ninth inning of Game 6 raised eyebrows at the time and had an impact on Game 7. Maddon admitted he should have had someone ready in case the Cubs added on in the ninth. He did not. And when Anthony Rizzo hit the two-run shot that gave the Cubs a 9-2 lead, he did not have enough time to get a reliever ready.
“I don’t think I needed to come into the game. Looking forward, the important game was going to be Game 7 because basically we had that game almost won. Then I had to pitch on Game 7 and I was a little tired. I felt a little different. It’s not the same. I could go out to pitch, do my job, but you’re not as efficient if you’re tired.”
It was rather unusual to hear a player say what Aroldis Chapman said Friday, especially when they are on the winning side. Chapman had every right to voice his displeasure with the Cubs and the way he was used. It was no secret that the Cubs traded for Chapman for one reason. He played a huge role in the Cubs winning The World Series and might not have won without him.
Joe Maddon defended his use of Chapman later in the day Friday to the New York Post.
“Would I do it differently? No. There is no Game 7 without winning Game 6. And there is no Game 8 if you don’t win Game 7. That’s why you do what you have to do. I appreciate what he said. If he feels that way, he did not tell me about that at the moment or after the moment. At the end of the day, man, we would not have won without him, and I appreciate everything he did. But I promise everything we did do, we did with his consent by talking to him prior to the game.”
Maddon added, “The part I screwed up with I didn’t have someone warming up in the ninth once Rizzo hit the home run. But there is no next game, there is no tomorrow and you are not going to lose that game in a very weird way by not utilizing your best reliever. Every game I put him in, I talked to him and his interpreter to make sure that he was okay because this season he did not like pitching multiple innings so we stopped doing it. So I talked to him about if we did that in the playoffs, how would he feel about that and he said he was fine with that.”
The Cubs viewed Chapman as a rental as soon as he was acquired and had no interest in re-signing him.
Aroldis Chapman won a ring and is now back where he wanted to be after receiving the largest contract ever signed by a relief pitcher.
- Report from The Associated Press
- Report from The Tribune
- Report from ESPN New York
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Report from Hardball Talk
- Report from ESPN Chicago [Joe Maddon]
Joe Maddon was also in the news Friday for the right reason. Maddon helped break ground on a $250,000 playground in Hazelton.
According to the Tribune, “The playground is part of the Hazelton One Community Center.” The center opened “about four years ago, and the playground is the latest addition.”
Maddon is passionate about the Hazelton Integration Project he helped create.
MLB Start Times
According to a report from Jayson Stark, as part of the new CBA there will be earlier start times on getaway days.
Beginning in 2018, teams will be required to start games earlier on getaway days than they may have been scheduled in the past.
According to Stark, “there is a provision in the new labor agreement that goes into effect when either team faces a flight longer than 2 ½ hours after the game. Getaway-day changes will apply if a team has a game … or even an off day at home … the next day. The new rules will also prohibit teams from scheduling an early-afternoon game the following day if one of the clubs played a night game in a different city the evening before.”
Scheduling and start times were “a priority in the labor talks, in an effort to reduce the wear and tear of travel and sleep deprivation.”
There are exemptions in the new rule “involving holidays and trips to Wrigley Field, where local laws provide less flexibility in scheduling later start times.” Stark added that “even those exemptions are restricted to instances in which teams face shorter flights.”
The MLBPA was able to add off-days to the season and the restrictions on the start times should help the players stay on the field more often during the grind of a 162-game schedule.
Scott Darling, Cubs Hockey Mask
The Blackhawks are taking on the Blues at the Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on Jan 2. And Hawks’ goalie, Scott Darling kept his word with a tribute to The World Series Champs on his mask.
Darling posted a photo Friday of the mask he will wear for the Winter Classic.
BREAKING NEWS FIRST LOOK
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) December 16, 2016
The art on Darling’s mask is just incredible.
Jake Arrieta made good on the bet he made with Tommy La Stella. And he posted a photo on Twitter to prove it.
Not ideal.. but a bet is a bet. pic.twitter.com/CE6DDWsUei
— Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) December 16, 2016
Arrieta and La Stella made a friendly bet on their alma maters during the College World Series. La Stella went to Coastal Carolina and they beat and eliminated TCU in the tournament.
The Marlins added another reliever to their roster. According to multiple reports late Friday, the Marlins agreed to terms on a two-year, $16 million contract with RHP Brad Ziegler.
Ziegler’s deal is pending a physical and includes an incentives package that could add $2 million to the total value of the contract. According to Jon Heyman, Ziegler will receive $7 million in 2017 and $9 million in 2018.
The Cubs were reportedly one of at least a dozen teams that showed interest in Ziegler this off-season.
The Marlins announced the two-year contract with RHP Junichi Tazawa on Friday. The Fish designated RHP Nefi Ogando to make room for Tazawa on the roster.
Reports early in the week suggested the Marlins were favorites for Tazawa and Ziegler. And Miami was able to sign both after missing out on Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.
The Orioles made it official Friday and announced the one-year contract with Welington Castillo.
Castillo passed the Orioles’ physical and received a one-year, $6 million contract for the 2017 season that includes a player option for 2018 worth $7 million. Basically, Castillo inked a two-year, $13 million contract with the Orioles. Castillo is believed to have turned down other offers to sign with the O’s, one would have reunited him with Rick Renteria on the South Side of Chicago.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Cubs remake risky bullpen by adding more risk according to a report from FanGraphs.
• Aroldis Chapman said the Marlins’ instability led to him rejecting their offer and re-signing with the Yankees.
• Buster Olney reported if David Ortiz changed his mind and decided to play in 2017, he would be embraced.
• FanRag Sports reported the market for Ivan Nova is heating up.
• Jim Bowden posted his Midwinter report cards for all 30 teams … and Bowden gave the Cubs a ‘B’ for what the front office has done with the roster for The World Series Champions.
• There are plenty of power bats left in buyer’s market according to Jim Bowden.
• The Pirates signed RHP Josh Lindblom and OF Eury Perez to minor league contracts that include non-roster invites to Spring Training.
• The Rangers re-signed one-time Cubs farmhand RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to a minor league contract.
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Cubs traded Justin Ruggiano to Mariners for Matt Brazis
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Drew Carpenter
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Kerry Wood
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Troy O’Leary
1999 – Cubs signed free agent Andy Larkin
1996 – Cubs granted free agency to Leo Gomez
1996 – Cubs selected Miguel Batista off waivers from the Marlins
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Campbell
1992 – Cubs signed free agent Jose Bautista
1992 – Dan Vogelbach, born
1990 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Smith
1990 – Cubs released Randy Kramer
1989 – Zach Cates, born
1982 – Juan Mateo, born
1981 – Cubs released Steve Dillard and Mike Lum
1979 – David Kelton, born
1978 – Alex Cintron, born
1971 – Dodgers selected Chris Cannizzaro off waivers from the Cubs
1959 – Marvell Wynne, born
1931 – Cubs selected Lance Richbourg off waivers from the Braves