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

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(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Jake Arrieta / Miguel Montero / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Unnecessary comments cost Miguel Montero a job in 2017

Flashback to June 2017. The Cubs, reigning World Series champions at that point, were in the thick of the NL Central race and Arrieta was on the bump. He allowed a staggering seven stolen bases in just four innings of work, prompting the veteran backstop to put him on blast in postgame remarks.

"“It really sucked, having those stolen bases go to me. And when you look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time…. My pitchers don’t hold anybody on.”"

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At that point, Montero was enjoying a strong season on the heels of his iconic grand slam in the NLCS the year prior. He was batting .286/.366/.439 – good for a 112 OPS+ – and was a more than serviceable backup catcher for the team. But those comments set off a firestorm in the media and the Cubs clubhouse.

His defensive metrics, namely his caught stealing percentage and pop time, were absolutely dreadful – so to think he wasn’t as much to blame (or more) for the successful base stealing is ridiculous. The Cubs weren’t concerned about that issue when it came to Montero: until he decided to air his grievances in that particularly troublesome way.

The same can be said for Arrieta. He’d been largely quiet about masking, social distancing and the likes. But when he opened his mouth after yet another horrendous showing, it gave the organization one final reason to cut ties with a guy who left an indelible mark in his prior run with the team.

"“After the game last night, Rossy and I sat down and talked to him,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “Obviously, he was struggling. Not getting deep into starts and we’d sort of been patient and tried to get through it and hopefully he’d come out on the other side and pitch better, but we weren’t there.”"

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At this point, I find it hard to believe anyone is going to pick him up. He showed this year he’s got nothing left to offer – and his comment on Wednesday night is just one more reason for teams to steer clear of a guy who’s a mere shell of his former self.