Chicago Cubs: It’s a whirling Darvish

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs Yu Darvish
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

For the first time we have some real noise out of the Chicago Cubs clubhouse. But was there any truth to it?

Tranquility has been something the Chicago Cubs have been able to count on since they joined the league’s aristocracy in their private garden party in 2015. Rarely, if ever, has it even been whispered about discontent or issues arising out of their clubhouse, and this certainly can be pointed to as a strength of Joe Maddon’s (or his wine collection, but let’s not split hairs here).

There was the ever brief and disproportional wailing from fans about Kris Bryant’s mini-demotion in 2015 to maintain service time. Then he was promoted, proceeded to turn a healthy amount of baseballs into plasma, win the Rookie Of The Year, and no one could locate a flying fornication to give. Aroldis Chapman’s arrival caused consternation among a portion of the fanbase, and still does, but no one within the Cubs clubhouse or organization seemed to raise a fuss or even an eyebrow (sadly).

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Last year saw the quick placing of Miggy Montero in the baseball dumpster once he spoke out of turn, as the Cubs seem to have a zero-tolerance policy about criticizing a teammate in the press (if only it was that way for things away from the field). Addison Russell’s personal life got something of a mention for a night or two, but quickly bubbled down beneath the surface where it stays, even if it probably shouldn’t, though subtly bubbling nonetheless.

Yes, it’s been pretty calm seas for the Cubs for three and a half seasons now, at least when compared to other teams. So you’ll have to pardon me if the latest “reports” of unrest in greater Cubdom due to You Darvish should be filed somewhere next to Harvey The Rabbit and “Werewolves Are Real And They Love ‘Indie Night’ At Beauty Bar.”

This all kicked off on Sunday night when ESPN staff pulled Alex Rodriguez‘s string and he hinted at some players’ uneasiness over what’s going on with Darvish, while he and Jessica Mendoza lauded Tyler Chatwood from bouncing back from any seven-walk start of your choosing to throw another one, as somehow that proves heart rather than merely completing the tenets of his job. A-Rod went on to say that things in the Cubs clubhouse “aren’t good right now.”

First of all, A-Rod playing junior reporter and remarking on the status of any clubhouse is slapstick comedy, if not some of the best satire this side of The Onion. This is a player notoriously unpopular with teammates, to the point he didn’t invite any fellow Texas Rangers to his wedding once upon a time, and you remember all the stories in his time with the Yankees.

Put it this way, what would you think of a guy in your office you knew to have paintings of himself as a centaur in his house? Me, I’d probably just leave inflatable Schlitz bulls on his desk every day, but I’m not the most considerate. Clubhouse harmony wouldn’t exactly be a thing A-Rod is all that well-versed in, not having seen it in about 20 years. 

So you’ll have to pardon me if I’m dubious of A-Rod’s “sources,” simply because I can’t imagine any current player going out of the way to say anything to him other than to comment on his wonderful and constant tan (the dude always seriously glows).