Joe Maddon calls Alex Rodriguez 'irresponsible" in radio interview

Joe Maddon calls Alex Rodriguez 'irresponsible" in radio interview

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." 

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. 

'I'm sold on the Baby Bulls,' a conversation with The Basketball Analogy's Black Tray


'I'm sold on the Baby Bulls,' a conversation with The Basketball Analogy's Black Tray

You may have heard Black Tray - yes, he really does introduce himself like that - interject his patented "shouts to (fill in the blank)" one-liner before on ESPN's The Basketball Analogy podcast.

In recent episodes, he's chimed in with a facetious "shouts to bullying" and "shouts to gentrification." And just Monday, he fired a "shouts to the real MVP, Solange. Off of that elevator scene, we got three great albums."

Yes, this type of analysis can be found in an ESPN production.

The episodes he appears in - better known as Black Opinions Matter Monday - conflate NBA and pop culture to a degree where the audience knows Tray's unmistakable fandom for Tupac and the Bulls.   

He recently gave CSN Chicago a shout to discuss being sold on the rebuild, players he irrationally loved to watch play and, of course, Gar/Pax. 

You introduce yourself as Black Tray to people, right? 

Black Tray: “Absolutely. Absolutely.”


BT: “I mean if people are going to hear it, they’re going to be asking questions. And I kind of just eliminate the questions before you can even ask. If I say, ‘Hey, I’m Tray,’ and then my friends say, ‘Yo, Black Tray come here,’ I might as well just introduce myself from the jump. Women can sometimes get annoyed by it, but it’s not like I’m trying to talk in third person or anything like that. It’s just a nickname that just kind of carried through and you just kind of roll with it. It’s super funny because there’s always jokes about it. ‘Hey, you’re really not that black.’ I’m not like a darker skin tone. It’s pretty funny to go about it.

“There’s some symbolism behind it as far as my avatar, and I don’t really show my face and stuff that much. So I really want people to tune in just ‘cause of my opinion or what I have to say versus the image. You know what I mean? With Black Opinions Matter, it’s really everybody. We’re just getting our point across. It’s, ‘Oh, we’re talking about durags. White guys can’t wear durags.’ No that’s not true. I don’t care who wears a durag. If you wear it well, you wear it well. But at the end of the day, we’re just speaking like, ‘Hey, we wanna be heard, too.’ I mean obviously you wouldn’t want to hear White Opinions Matter Monday. That’s gonna sound crazy. Isn’t that kind of the default?”

How'd you first get on The Basketball Analogy? 

BT: “I really wasn’t high on doing podcasts. (ESPN's) Amin (Elhassan's) a good friend of mine. We’ve been following each other on Twitter for several years, and he reached out and said, ‘hey, I would like to have you on’ because at the time Brandon Jennings was playing for the Knicks. That’s one of my best friends. At the time, they wanted an inside opinion on it, like talking about the coaches. Black Opinions Matter hadn’t even had a name or anything. I was just coming on the show to do an episode, and we had a good episode. The next week I didn’t come back on. First of all, I wasn’t invited but then also I really just wasn’t sold on podcasts. Then he asked me to come back, and I had a guest and it was Chris Childs. It was more so just the feedback that got me back on the show. I was really receptive to it. I read every mention. I look at everything. I’m always open to giving my opinion on stuff that I actually have knowledge on and the stuff I don’t I won’t speak on.”

Are you surprised with how the pod took off? 

BT: “Pretty much so. I had never listened to a podcast before. I didn’t even listen to my own podcast after I did it. I just kind of let go. I just do it and then scroll through my mentions and if I had a cool one-liner, I’ll retweet it here or there.”

You're from California, so why'd you become a big Bulls fan? 

BT: “My fandom for the Bulls began in ’91. I was about 6 years old and at the time Magic (Johnson) had the HIV virus, but L.A. was still coming off the Showtime Lakers. I was always the person in my family that goes and chooses outside of what everybody else likes. So at the time Michael Jordan was like really fun to watch, and all I can remember is me sticking my tongue out and imitating him by doing reverse layups on my Fisher Price hoop. He was my idol – the only person I kind of admired. I was unaware, at the time, that Michael Jordan was 6’6 and I was like, ‘well I wanna be as tall as him.’"

So give me a Bulls player you irrationally like?

BT: "Larry Hughes. With the Bulls, he was not amazing, but he was okay. But I’m a Larry Hughes fan. I was like all for Larry Hughes. Huge Khalid El-Amin guy. I call the Bulls ‘Point Guard U’ for troll’s purpose. A.J. Guyton, El-Amin, Jamal Crawford going down the line Jay Williams. Tons of heartbreak. I tweeted out not too long ago about our under-20 win seasons. We’ve had multiple. It was during the time I was in high school so I really wasn’t watching at all. I was like ‘Oh, basketball doesn’t exist.’" 

What're you thoughts on now? What'd you think about the trade? 

BT: “I’m sold on the Baby Bulls. I’m bringing the Baby Bulls title back. I call Lauri (Markkanen) Lauri Kukoc. What can we really do? You just gotta be positive about everything. I can’t really wear a paper bag or anything. I like that they brought back (Cristiano) Felicio. I like the Justin Holiday signing. Justin’s a great guy and, honestly, I thought we got him for cheap for what he brings. He just knows how to play the game. High IQ guy, won’t hurt his team on the floor. So I’m praising the offseason right now just because I know what direction they’re going in, but I’m still kind of anti Gar/Pax."  

What about Hoiberg? 

BT: "Hoiberg is like a cool-ass stepdad to me. He’s like, ‘Hey I know you guys aren’t 21. You’re not supposed to be drinking, but hey you can drink inside the house.’ You know what I mean? He doesn’t have the full authority with it as I want him to be. That’s why I said I’m not mad at Jimmy trying to call him out sometimes because he doesn’t hold him accountable. You gotta check them, you can’t be a fan of them.”

Were you on board when they brought in Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade last offseason? 

BT: “I wish what we were doing now happened last year. Now it’s the heartache and pain of we made the playoffs and we’re going to abandon everything.”

Are the Bulls winning that first-round series with the Celtics if Rondo doesn't go down, though? 

BT: “Absolutely. My thing was I think he just had intimidation. He basically played mind games with those guys like Avery Bradley. He still had that over them, he had those guys on the ropes. He was just leading the right way, he had everybody on board. Once he went down it’s like not so much because we had nobody at the point guard position.”

How do you think Zach LaVine will fit? 

BT: “Looking back at the trade, that trade should have happened last year. LaVine was rumored to come to the Bulls before. LaVine’s agent is my guy, that’s my friend, so I’m all for the LaVine trade and he’s looking good as far as recovery. He’s got tons of potential and was playing very well before he hurt his knee, so I’m on board. I don’t think he’s going to be an immediate All-Star, but he could be in the 17 to 20 points per game range. He’s not a slouch."

So how long for this rebuild then? 

BT: “Three years.”

Three Years? That's optimistic, don't you think? 

BT: “Hey, I trust it. Look at it like this: You can’t really lobby off, ‘Hey, Chicago’s a great city. Come here and play.' It has to be draft, teach, play. Throw in a couple veterans and go through that process.”

Come spend the winter in Chicago is probably not a good selling point.

BT: "I lived in Milwaukee for one year. I understand it.”

Javy Baez is all kinds of naked in the new ESPN Body Issue

Javy Baez is all kinds of naked in the new ESPN Body Issue

Another year, another Cub sending nudes to ESPN.

Javy Baez is following in Jake Arrieta's footsteps, joining ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue 2017:

Beyond the racy photos, Baez gets personal in the interview for the magazine, talking about his sister, Noely, who died at the age of 21 in 2015.

The co-NLCS MVP also goes behind his lightning-quick tags, how he actually had problems walking as a baby and Joe Maddon's message to him before the 2016 season.