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Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva, who wouldn’t speak to the media following Wednesday’s dugout scuffle with teammate Aramis Ramirez, broke his silence today, telling a slightly different version of events than we’d heard from Ramirez, manager Mike Quade, and other Cubs players. And in doing so, he’s clearly backing down from his assertion, just a week ago, that he’d already won a rotation spot.

“It was a very hard inning, not only for my team or my coaches, but for me,” Silva said. “I gave up those two homers and I came to the dugout and tried to take it easy and relax and let it go, and the only thing I said was, ‘We need to start making plays here.’ [Ramirez] took it personally.

“I know it was a mistake, it was my fault,” Silva continued. “I shouldn’t say anything. He took it personally and we argued in the dugout. Everything stayed there.”

While saying literally that it was his fault, Silva is actually pinning the blame on Ramirez. And if things happened exactly as Silva describes, it sounds like the blame would fall to Ramirez. Of course, there are two sides to every story, and usually the truth falls somewhere in between. The likeliest scenario? Silva indeed said something innocuous like “we need to start making plays here,” but he probably said it in Ramirez’s direction.

As for the source of his frustration – it was, after all, a Spring Training game – Silva conceded what most of us thought: he doesn’t want to get screwed out of a rotation spot.

“To be honest, for me, it’s a little bit harder because for [the media], who’s going to be the third baseman? It’s him,” Silva said. “Who’s going to be the fifth starter? We don’t know yet. I’m trying to do something here. I’m trying to fight for my spot.”

Heck, Carlos, if you listen to the Cubs, we don’t know who the 4th starter is going to be, either (hopefully this wasn’t a slip of the tongue by Silva, and he’s suggesting that Randy Wells is locked in as the 4th starter).

I understand where he’s coming from, but Silva has to understand that the 5th starter spot is not going to be decided by the numbers in the box score (and even if it were, errors show in the box score, too, mitigating some of the carnage from the pitcher’s perspective). The decision will be made on whom Quade believes will give the Cubs the best chance to win – and that will come from how Silva and the other prospective starters look. And falling apart when the team behind you makes a few errors does not make for a good looking starter, whatever the results.

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