Chicago Cubs: A-Rod, Sutcliffe needlessly take shots at Yu Darvish

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Yu Darvish inadvertently took center stage during ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball coverage of the Cubs and Cardinals game when Alex Rodriguez called him out.

Injured Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish was hanging on the fence cheering on his teammates in a much-needed win on Sunday night when the cameras zoomed in on his face. Alex Rodriguez seized the opportunity to pounce.

"“It’s gotten so bad around – now they won’t say this publicly – but it’s gotten so bad that they let him basically police and take control of his own rehab, which is scary, because they don’t want to create anything that he can kind of push back against,” Rodriguez said."

As the game continued, A-Rod kept criticizing the right-hander.

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"“When you have a guy that signs an enormous contract and he’s sitting down – and you walk in the training room, and he’s got two trainers working on him, you go into the video room and you have a guy looking at video – he should be in Arizona somewhere getting treated. But don’t get in the way of 25 players going after one mission – to win a ballgame.”"

Rodriguez’s remarks seemed to come out of nowhere, and most fans sympathized with the injured pitcher as the cameras panned back and forth to him, unaware he was being attacked by an admitted PED-user.

Rodriguez hinted at a clubhouse issue without citing any information he knew something was wrong inside the Cubs locker room. As it turned out, Rodriguez wasn’t the only ex-player to call out Darvish for the way he’s handled his rehab.

Ex-Cub sheds light on the Darvish situation.

During his weekly appearance on The Waddle and Silvy Show on 670 The Score, former Cub Rick Sutcliffe didn’t hold back either when speaking about Darvish.

Sutcliffe questioned Darvish’s work ethic and commitment to helping his team in this season’s pennant race.

"” I just don’t know, I mean, I just don’t get the urgency that this guy has that maybe everybody else does. This is go time right now,” Sutcliffe said."

He went on to point out that a strong showing against St. Louis and Pittsburgh could silence potential challengers in the Central. The Cubs’ schedule in the next few weeks features some less-than-stellar competition, which could help Chicago push past Milwaukee and build a lead in the division.

Sutcliffe followed his assumption that Darvish was well enough to be pitching by adding that he didn’t like the guy because he didn’t sign autographs for disabled children before a Spring Training start.

What the comments mean

Rodriguez and Sutcliffe are well-respected among the players inside the Cubs locker room, and would seem to be credible sources on anything going on inside this organization. Joe Maddon was quick to defend his pitcher.

When asked about the comments made, both Anthony Rizzo and Albert Almora refuted the claims that Cubs players were fed up with Darvish.

Whether or not certain players are harboring negative thoughts towards Darvish likely won’t be seen. The Cubs handled this situation the way all great teams do, with professionalism and class. If there is a problem in the team’s clubhouse its handled internally, it won’t be a public dispute or serve as a distraction during a tight pennant race.

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Darvish can put this away rather easily. If he comes back at some point and gives his team all he has to offer, all of this noise will be a smudge during a long tenure. Until that happens, the spotlight will be on Darvish, and we’re all about to find out if he can handle that.