Though the city may no longer be home to the infamous Union Stock Yards, the events of their series with the Brewers and Pirates have shown us that there’s still plenty of beef in Chicago. Willson Contreras directed a volley of f-bombs toward Eric Thames this past weekend, and now we’ve gotten a more recent kerfuffle between Javy Baez and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who has apparently appointed himself grand arbiter of playing the game the right way.
Shoot, has anyone told Mike Matheny about this yet? I’ve got a feeling the Cardinals aren’t going to be jazzed about having their authority usurped in this manner. And with them coming to town next week with their ump-bumping catcher in tow, it’s not hard to imagine a continuation of the current trend. I guess things will be fine as long as Maddon doesn’t call Yadi Molina a mean name.
Speaking of the Cubs manager and being perturbed, Maddon was none too pleased with the way Hurdle chose to call out the Cubs for the way they play the game. Speaking to the media prior to the Cubs’ series opener with the Braves, Maddon took his colleague to task over his comments and didn’t pull any punches about the implications of Hurdle’s words.
“I was surprised by it,” Maddon admitted (Twitter link). “I did not see it coming at all. Clint and I have had a great relationship. I don’t understand why he did what he did. I do believe in not interfering with other groups.”
Maddon may be old-school in some respects, but he’s been very vocal in the past about challenging long-held baseball beliefs, particularly when it comes to the whole “right way” business. And he absolutely went in on Hurdle for disparaging Baez.
“Whenever you want to be hyper-critical of somebody, just understand you’re pretty much revealing yourself and what your beliefs are more than you are evaluating somebody you have not spent one second in that person’s skin,” Maddon opined (Twitter links here and here from Patrick Mooney). “The mistakes of youth are preferable to the wisdom of old age.”
I understand that many of you would just as soon never hear about Clint Hurdle and Pirates ever again, but that’s not entirely reasonable. While they’ll likely come down to earth from a competitive standpoint, they’re never going to fade completely into Bolivian. And given their deep-seated inferiority complex, you can bet they’re going to latch onto these comments like a starving man to a Primanti Bros. sandwich.
This is the kind of stuff that happens to really good teams that have targets tattooed on their collective back, though. Everyone wants to take a shot. Now the Cubs just need to start playing better baseball so they can just let their performance clap back against the claptrap.