Chicago Cubs: You’d think Jake Arrieta have learned from Miguel Montero

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Jake Arrieta / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta knew better than to make that masking comment

With the Delta variant of the coronavirus filling up hospitals across the country, overwhelmingly impacting the unvaccinated, Arrieta, for some reason, felt it was a good idea to tell Cubs beat writer Bruce Levine to take his mask off after being asked about mentoring the team’s young arms.

"“It’s not hard, Bruce,” he said. “And I’d love you to take your mask off. I don’t think anybody’s around you.”"

Arrieta, who has remained adamantly opposed to the COVID-19 vaccines, had no reason to make such a remark. It’s hard not to think it was the final straw from the organization’s standpoint, too. You weren’t getting anything from him on the mound and with him openly embracing an attitude that runs contrary to the advice and guidelines set forth by the medical and scientific communities, there was no reason to let him run out the clock as a Cub.

Of course, most will remember Arrieta as the guy who helped Chicago turn the corner as a young, up-and-coming club back in 2015 when he turned in arguably the best second-half ever by a big league starting pitcher. He went 12-1 after the All-Star Break, working to a 0.75 ERA and 0.727 WHIP en route to Cy Young honors.

But there’s no doubt he’s tarnished his legacy with some with his masking comments and anti-vaccination stance, not to mention the dumpster fire of a season he just turned in. And reading about all this in recent days, I couldn’t help but think back to the last time public comments helped end a player’s time with the Cubs – and Arrieta was involved in that instance, as well.