Not cool, Joe.
Aroldis Chapman believes he was overused by Joe Maddon during the postseason — even though it culminated with the Cubs breaking the curse and snapping the franchise’s 108-year championship drought.
“I believe 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, who returned to the Yankees on a five-year, $86 million contract, told reporters through his translator during a conference call on Friday.
“But he is the manager and he has a strategy. My job is to be ready to pitch. As far as how my arm feels now, I feel great. I’m healthy. My arm is strong.”
Specifically, Chapman cited Game 6 of the World Series, when he was still out there at the start of the ninth inning — having already recorded four outs — despite the fact that the Cubs had a seven-run lead.
“The important game was going to be Game 7,” Chapman said, “and basically we had (Game 6) almost won. The next day I came in and felt tired.”
Chapman went on to to record a blown save in the decisive game of the Fall Classic, surrendering a game-tying, two-run home run to Rajai Davis in the eighth before the Cubs won it all in extras.
The 28-year-old fireballing closer was also asked to get eight outs in Game 5. During the World Series, he posted a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings (five appearances). However, Chapman says he never questioned Maddon about his curious decision-making.
“I never told him about my opinion with the way he was using me,” Chapman said. “The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors. Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me out there to pitch, I’m going to go out there and pitch.
“If I’m healthy, I’m going to go out there and pitch. If I’m tired, I’m going to put that aside and just get through it. It is kind of like a warrior, they send you somewhere and you have to go there and your mentality is you have to go there and do your job.”
Joe Maddon’s use of Aroldis Chapman in Games 5, 6 and 7 of the World Series raised eyebrows.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Chapman may be right about Maddon overusing him, but he might hear some boos when he returns to Wrigley Field to face his former team on May 5 as a result.
Chapman, whose electric fastball is regularly clocked at 100 mph, had told ESPN that the Cubs weren’t showing any interest in him during free agency, so perhaps Maddon was willing to pitch him as often as possible, knowing this would be it.
Interestingly, Joe Girardi, who has been criticized in the past for over-managing, used Chapman to get six outs in his final appearance in pinstripes on July 23 before he was traded to Chicago.
But Chapman expressed a desire to return upon being dealt for a strong package headlined by Gleyber Torres, and the Yankees ultimately gave him the biggest deal for a closer in baseball history, which includes an opt-out after the 2019 season.
The opt-out was brought up by Chapman’s agent, who felt it was in his client’s best interest to include it. But Chapman says he’s not thinking about leaving already — especially given it won’t come up for three seasons. He just wants to bring a 28th title to the Bronx.
The Marlins had made a comparable offer, but Chapman cited the team’s frequent roster overhauls as the reason he decided to choose a more stable situation — and one stocked with young talent — in the Bronx.
Chapman was forced to serve a 30-game suspension at the start of last season for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. He continues to participate in mandatory therapy sessions as a result.
His message to Yankees fans upset with the team’s commitment to a player with such a checkered past: “I understand that they would have thoughts like that. We are humans. We make mistakes and we move forward. I’ve done therapy over the years and it has helped me to be a better person and it pushes me to be a better person every day.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News