"Matt [Vasgersian], the problem is, and I'm pretty passionate about this, when you have 25 players coming to the stadium, you're there to do one thing and that's win a ball game", Rodriguez said on the ESPN telecast.
The former player-turned-ESPN broadcaster made comments suggesting that the Cubs clubhouse was starting to grow exhausted of Yu Darvish and his lingering injury issues.
"I totally disagree with that", said Maddon, who was unaware of Rodriguez's comments until they were relayed by a reporter.
The $126 million dollar man is on the right track to recovery but it has and will continue to be a slow rehab process as Darvish concentrates on getting back to the Cubs entirely healthy. Darvish's agent, Joel Wolfe, held nothing back in his response.
"And 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. But don't get in the way of 25 players going after one mission - to win a ballgame", Rodriguez continued later. "Everyone knows what's going on". We know there is an injury there.
Darvish had an encouraging 23-pitch bullpen session last week but hasn't managed to get himself back on a major league mound since May 20th.
"If this story had come from a credible journalist, we might have shown some concern", Wolfe said. "But it came from A-Rod, so we're paying it little attention". "Everybody in there knows and everyone in the coaches' room knows also, throughout the organization".
Prior to being placed on the disabled list in May, Darvish had gone 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in his first eight starts for the Cubs. In his remarks, the retired ex-MVP alleged that the Cubs had allowed Darvish to take control of his own rehab and hinted that he had lost the respect of the clubhouse.
"I think it was classless and bordered on unprofessional to take a little nugget of somewhat exaggerated information from one person that maybe he had history with and turning that into a spokesman for the entire team", Wolfe told The Athletic.
Cubs skipper Joe Maddon was quoted in the Chicago Tribune Monday dispelling the comments made by Rodriguez, referring to them as "unfortunate". (A-Rod's) attacking a player who is injured and on the disabled list, which is hard for any player, especially one who has a big contract and is in his first year [with a new team]. "But then also attacking him for staying with the team?" "He wasn't hiding out in Mesa at the spring-training complex or back home like A-Rod when he was suspended".