Chicago Cubs: Sean Doolittle opens mouth, inserts foot

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images /

The Chicago Cubs rivalry with the Washington Nationals may be heating up.

Last night, during a 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, the Chicago Cubs — and more specifically manager Joe Maddon — stirred up the pot and some controversy that seems to have carried over to today.

To understand what transpired last night and the subsequent fallout today, we have to go all the way back to April 1st of this year. That’s when Carl Edwards Jr.made his debut for the Cubs against the Texas Rangers.

In doing so, Edwards deployed the new delivery he had worked on all Spring Training. It involved a toe tap at the bottom of his delivery causing a slight hesitation.

Major League Baseball subsequently deemed the delivery illegal, although there was apparently no issue with it raised during the Spring.

Fast forward to Saturday night when Maddon, in the ninth inning, objected to the delivery of Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle. Doolittle also similarly taps his foot prior to delivering the pitch. Maddon clearly thought there were at least some similarities between Doolittle’s delivery and that of Edwards.

However, the umpires saw nothing wrong with the delivery and informed Maddon it was legal. Maddon officially played the game under protest.

Doolittle apparently took exception to the move and had some spicy words for Maddon this morning. The personal attack on Maddon was not only unnecessary but misguided.

First, there was nothing wrong with Maddon challenging the delivery — even if it was just to throw Doolittle off. Trying to rattle an opposing pitcher has literally been a part of the game since it’s inception.

Second, Doolittle likely failed the realize that the real purpose behind Maddon’s protest was to prove a point to Major League Baseball about how ridiculous it’s ruling against Edwards was.

Monday night to test Darvish's psyche. dark. Next

Doolittle seems to be overblowing the whole incident and has set up an interesting scene when the Cubs take on the Nats tonight. Will there be any carryover or retaliation? We’ll have to wait and see but there definitely seems to be some bad blood that could tear its ugly head this evening.