Cubs

Montero: Pirates would be 'stupid' to think Arrieta, Cubs hit Kang on purpose

Montero: Pirates would be 'stupid' to think Arrieta, Cubs hit Kang on purpose

"Bad Blood" might need to get promoted beyond just Anthony Rizzo's walk-up song.

It may as well be the theme song for the Cubs-Pirates rivalry.

Jake Arrieta and the Cubs have had the Pirates' number dating back to late last season and tensions have boiled over between these two teams, including a benches-clearing incident in the one-game wild-card playoff in October.

The division rivals added a new chapter to the rivalry Saturday when the Pirates essentially accused Arrieta of hitting Jung Ho Kang on purpose in the fourth inning:

Arrieta's overall line (eight innings, two runs, 11 strikeouts) looks stellar, but he had some control issues, especially in that fourth inning when he allowed three hits and hit Kang. 

Arrieta's catcher Miguel Montero thought the notion that the Cubs hitting Kang on purpose was ridiculous.

"Nah. I mean, c'mon. Really?" Montero said. "You guys saw him. He was wild. He walked the pitcher on four pitches. Nah. That's really stupid. Seriously, that's stupid to say.

"[Arrieta] doesn't want to hit him. I guarantee that. He was a little wild in that inning."

At the time Kang got hit, the Cubs were already down 2-0 with a runner on third base and only one out. Hard to believe they'd want to give the Pirates another free runner at that point.

Montero said he is "100 percent sure" Arrieta didn't hit Kang on purpose, but since the Cubs veteran catcher was hit in the jersey two innings later, he also considers the Cubs and Pirates even.

After Montero was hit, home plate umpire Brian Knight warned both benches, which surprised Cubs manager Joe Maddon a bit.

"Obviously Jake was going through some command issues and he hits Kang. That's unfortunate," Maddon said. "I didn't think their guy hit Miggy on purpose at all."

Kang just got back from the disabled list after suffering a nasty leg injury on Chris Coghlan's takeout slide last September. 

"The only people that are going to read into [Arrieta hitting Kang] is somebody that wants to," Maddon said. "Why would we ever want to hit him based on what happened last year?

"That makes no sense whatsoever. There are no dots to be connected there."

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

cubs_podcast_offense_slid.jpg
USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.