Joe Maddon joined Dan Bernstein and Conor McKnight on their 670 the Score show Tuesday afternoon, speaking candidly about Alex Rodriguez accusing the Cubs clubhouse of not being supportive of Yu Darvish during his rehab process.
"I was really shocked by the whole diatribe, in a sense a soliloquy," Maddon said. "It really came off to me as plastic and probably rehearsed in advance. It was definitely a contrived situation. That part of it, I didn't really like either. Beyond the substance, it was definitely not extemporaneous. And that really is a concern too. Because if you walk into our locker (room) trying to substantiate something, you've already made up your mind to do that. That's kind of bothersome. These (national broadcasters), they see us two or three times here. They're not in the presence of all of our guys. They really have no business making those kinds of comments. So having said all that, for me, it's not about empowering Alex. I do not want to do that whatsoever."
Maddon continued to go through his frustrations with Rodriguez, saying the former Yankee stars' comments "contaminated" their clubhouse.
"Because I think that's what he's looking for -- is empowerment. And the other part is from our perspective, nobody contaminates our state. You as an individual should not permit it, we as a group are not going to permit it. We have a very tightly knit group. These guys are wonderful. They interest so well together, not only among themselves but also coaches, front office, etc. It's a very tightly knit group. So when you attempt to come into our sanctum and say or make those kinds of comments in a predetermined negative way, I don't take kindly to that."
The Cubs skipper assured Darvish that everyone in the clubhouse understands he is recovering from an injury, as the 31-year-old continues to rehab from an elbow impingement.
"We wanted to reassure Yu that none of that is true," said Maddon. "Yu needs to know that, coming into the situation he has and not being able to perform based on an injury. It's very difficult. It's very difficult to be that guy when you're walking around and you got something wrong and you know you want to be out there. You know you can help, and it's tough. It's very tough mentally on that person. So my desire is this goes away today."
The interview ended with Maddon given one last bit of advice to Rodriguez and how comments like these can ruin a reputation - which was a tad bit ironic talking about a guy who lied about PED use.
"What I just said to you illustrates exactly how I feel about this. It's one of those situations that a guy like him (Rodriguez) has to be careful because now he can really sully his reputation in other clubhouses based on this irresponsible moment."
And to that point, Anthony Rizzo was on David Kaplan's ESPN 1000's show discussing Darvish, saying he liked "having him around."
Anthony Rizzo with @thekapman on Yu Darvish being a problem in the clubhouse: No, not at all. Yu has been great. He wants to get back and pitch and we need him. He comes in everyday and does his work. Yu is doing his best he can to get back and healthy.— Chris Bleck (@chrisbleck) July 31, 2018
A response like this was expected from Joe Maddon and the Cubs, especially after the integrity of their locker room was put into question. It's safe to assume Alex Rodriguez will not be greeted with warm welcomes the next time he steps foot in the Cubs clubhouse.