Maddon, A-Rod Have ‘Candid Conversation’ Prior to ESPN Broadcast

Two weeks removed from the Sunday Night Baseball game during which Alex Rodriguez discussed Yu Darvish’s self-directed rehab process and it’s negative impact on the Cubs clubhouse Joe Maddon took time to have a tête-á-tête with the broadcaster. If it seems a little odd that they’re bothering with anything this far after the fact, consider that their respective schedules don’t allow for much face time and a string of texts probably wouldn’t cut it.

“Alex and I had a really nice discussion,” Maddon told other media members after his

“When you speak badly of our group, it brings out the Hazleton [Pennsylvania, Maddon’s hometown] in me. I responded very open and candid.”

To his credit, A-Rod also met with the Chicago media, albeit for a mere 51 second (according to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney). The baseball star-turned pariah-turned TV analyst wasn’t the least bit contrite, though he did couch his comments as opinion rather than fact. And that’s an important distinction given the way he presented things during that last game.

“No, my job is to say it fairly and objectively,” Rodriguez responded when asked whether he’d change his comments in hindsight. “I have over 25 years in the game and I’m going to call it as I see it. We don’t always have to agree on everything.”

He even said he and Maddon made plans to grab drinks in the future.

All things considered, none of this is really surprising. Rather than back down from his comments, A-Rod was able to clarify them just a little further. And Maddon was able to maintain public support of Darvish and his team.

While we’ll probably never know exactly what was said between the two of them, I would wager the conversation was largely about how they’d each present things to the media. Like, We’ve both got jobs to do but no hard feelings good talk see you out there.

There’s also a small part of me wondering if some of Maddon’s candidness involved A-Rod perhaps basing some of his public comments on things Maddon had told him. Not the stuff about potential rifts in the clubhouse, but about Darvish controlling his own rehab and how the team didn’t want to created anything for the pitcher to push back against.

Heck, it’s even possible Maddon offered the broadcaster a little thanks for inadvertently lighting a fire under Darvish’s backside. A more conspiratorial mind might think Maddon or someone in the Cubs front office had intentionally planted the seeds with A-Rod in the hopes that they’d achieve exactly those results, but that’s taking it a little far.


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