Cubs

Maddon on Coghlan/Kang play: 'No apologies necessary'

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Maddon on Coghlan/Kang play: 'No apologies necessary'

Takeout slides at second base are as deeply ingrained in the game of baseball as bubble gum and sunflower seeds.

It's just a byproduct of playing hard. Middle infielders are trying to turn the double play and runners are trying to disrupt them from doing so, which often causes a collision at second base.

When Chris Coghlan came bearing down on Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang, the South Korean rookie couldn't get out of the way in time and now he's done for the season and facing a long rehab (six to eight months) with a torn left MCL and fractured tibia.

[RELATED - Devastating injury for Kang, but Cubs are playing with an edge now]

Coghlan was contrite in Pittsburgh after the game, even sending a note over to check on Kang and express well wishes.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn't think it wasn't a dirty play.

"Believe me, nobody wanted to see that fellow hurt," Maddon said before Friday's tilt against the Cardinals. "It's going to be a very difficult recovery and he's very important to that team. We do wish him well.

"It's unfortunate that it happened, but there's no apologies necessary. It was a good baseball play."

Kang sent out a statement via his agent, Alan Nero, saying he doesn't blame Coghlan and understands it was a tough-nosed baseball play.

[MORE - Miguel Montero believes Cubs have what it takes to win big in October]

The slide created a bit of controversy in the baseball world in the 24 hours after it occured, but Maddon insisted that anybody who wants to blame Coghlan and call it a dirty play doesn't "know the game at all."

"It's a tough game," Maddon said. "There's a lot of hard plays - the baseball's hard, these guys are in great shape and they run fast.

"That was just a hard play and it's unfortunate that he got injured."

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

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AP

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, a team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.

Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.

Check out the entire podcast here:

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Remember that one time Sammy Sosa threw out his back while sneezing? Well, Brandon Morrow may have topped that on the Cubs all-time list of wacky injuries.

The 33-year-old closer was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game after hurting his back while taking his pants off upon returning from the team's road trip to St. Louis. It's being labeled as "lower back tightness."

"It's frustrating any time you can't get out there, and especially when you can't go because of something stupid like taking your pants off," Morrow told reporters on Tuesday.

And that's put the Cubs pitching staff in a tough spot for the rest of the week, given Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers is the third game in a little more than 24 hours for the Cubs.

"I don't want to downplay anything," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Obviously he had back spams, he had the same thing in spring training. We'll start treating it the same way we did in spring training; I think he was out about a week to 10 days. If things go as we hope, I think it'd be the kind of thing where he'd probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days is up.

"But we felt like it wasn't going to be something where he was ready this weekend and if he's not going to be ready all weekend, we can already backdate it three days so it made sense to put him on the DL."

Morrow is tied for fifth in the National League with 16 saves and owns a 1.59 ERA is 26 relief appearances this season. Justin Hancock, who served as the 26th man during Tuesday's doubleheader, stayed with the team as a result.