(The Sports Xchange) – Aroldis Chapman, who is headed back to New York as the Yankees’ closer, says Chicago manager Joe Maddon misused him in the World Series on the way to the Cubs winning the championship for the first time since 1908.
The Cubs overcame a two-run game-tying eighth-inning home run allowed by the flame-throwing left-hander in Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians — one day after he was sent out in the ninth inning of Game 6 despite a seven-run Chicago lead.
“Personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me, but he is the manager and he has the strategy,” Cuba-born Chapman said Friday through an interpreter during a conference call to officially announce his new five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees.
“My job is to be ready, to be ready to pitch, however that is, however many innings that is, I need to be ready for that. I need to go in and do my job.”
Chapman, who entered with a 7-2 lead in the seventh inning of Game 6, said he was “tired” from his usage.
“There were couple of games, but the one I can point to is Game 6,” Chapman said.
“The game was (one-sided) and I don’t think he needed to (leave) me in the ninth. The important game was going to be Game 7 because we had that game almost won. The next day I came in tired.”
Chapman blew a save chance in Game 7 when Indians center fielder Rajai Davis belted the game-tying homer in the eighth inning. Chapman stayed in to toss a perfect ninth inning, and he got the win when the Cubs prevailed in the 10th.
Chapman had thrown four innings and 62 pitches in two previous games.
“I never told (Maddon) about my opinion with the way he was using me,” Chapman said. “The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors. Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me out there to pitch, I’m going to go out there and pitch.
“If I’m healthy, I’m going to go out there and pitch. If I’m tired, I’m going to put that aside and just get through it. It is kind of like a warrior, they send you somewhere and you have to go there and your mentality is you have to go there and do your job.”
The 28-year-old Chapman went 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 36 saves in 59 games last season for the Yankees and Cubs. He struck out 90 in 58 innings. In 13 postseason games, Chapman went 2-0 with four saves and a 3.45 ERA.
Chapman served a 30-game suspension at the start of last season stemming from a domestic-violence investigation. He never faced criminal charges, though Davie (Florida) police alleged that he choked his girlfriend and fired gunshots during the incident in October 2015.
(Editing by Andrew Both)