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Joe Maddon defends himself from Aroldis Chapman criticism

20 December 2016
Joe Maddon defends himself from Aroldis Chapman criticism

In a way, it nearly felt as if we saw Aroldis Chapman come out of the Chicago Cubs bullpen every night during their World Series run. But the question I've wrestled with is why did GM Theo Epstein never seem all that interested in resigning the soon-to-be 29-year-old flamethrower? "If he feels that way, he did not tell me about that at the moment or after the moment", Maddon said.

Maddon's position is understandable.

Even though Chapman spoke out against Maddon, he went to discuss what life as a baseball closer is like.

The left-hander appeared in 13 of the Cubs' 17 postseason games - 15 2/3 innings, 273 pitches. Chapman blew the save during Game 7 which forced the game to go into extra innings.

He did, however, pitch a scoreless ninth, setting the stage for the Cubs' 10-inning victory.

"The important game was going to be Game 7", Chapman said. "The important game was going to be Game 7 because basically we had (Game 6) nearly won. The next day I came in exhausted".

After Chapman was critical of how he was used by Maddon in Game 6 of the World Series, Maddon once again said he wouldn't do anything differently. "I believed there were a couple times where maybe I shouldn't have been put in the game and he put me in, so personally I don't agree with the way he used me", Chapman told reporters during a conference call to announce his five-year, $86 million deal with the New York Yankees.

"Nobody's flawless", Chapman said.

"If I'm healthy, I'm going to go out there and pitch". Chapman said he sees it as his job to go out and pitch whenever he is needed, whether he is exhausted or not.

"I never told him about my opinion with the way he was using me".

"Sometimes they change their team a lot, and I wanted to have a stable team of young players where I could feel at home", he said. Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field.

Scroll back up and look at that picture (I initially typed pitcher when thinking of the word picture, but either would've worked).

As for the Cubs' lack of interest in resigning Chapman, it's fair to assume Epstein concluded it would be financially advantageous to instead trade for a closer like Wade Davis from the Royals - parting with another expendable youngster, Jorge Soler. If I'm exhausted, I'm going to put that aside and just get through it.

During the most recent Winter Meetings, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that the organization wouldn't have pursued a reunion with Chapman if they felt he wasn't physically sound. "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".