aroldis chapman cubsThe Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Series Champions.

I feel like that’s an obligatory intro to almost any and all things I say and do for about the next three years, but it’s especially true when I’m about to share some negative things about the run up to that championship. We recently discussed Joe Maddon’s usage of closer Aroldis Chapman in the postseason and how, although Chapman was overall very effective and leaning on him heavily was the smart thing to do, not every move was perfect. (I guess the second obligatory thing here: Maddon is a fantastic manager, and the Cubs may not even be in that position without all that he does throughout the year. No one is dumping on Maddon here. Kthxbye, back to the post.)



I think most folks’ biggest beef came when Maddon called on Chapman to protect a five-run lead in Game Six, after he’d just thrown 42 pitches two nights before in Game Five. With such a healthy lead, and a near-certain Game Seven looming the day after, the better bet seemed to be a more conservative usage of Chapman (even if you agree with bringing Chapman in to end a threat in the 7th inning (I was totally fine with that), let him pitch from there into the 9th inning was the questionable part). Then, in Game Seven, it looked like Chapman was tired, and not as sharp as he could be (and we all know what happened).

To that end, while he did what he was asked to do, and he certainly wasn’t going to say anything at the time, Chapman discussed the end of the World Series today when he was re-introduced with the Yankees:



Chapman was asked, so he answered. I don’t have an issue with his comments, and I also don’t have an issue with how aggressively the Cubs used Chapman in the postseason. He was a rental mercenary, brought into the organization specifically because he could be leaned on heavily in the postseason. It worked. Cubs win. Chapman got paid.

Bonus: because of the way things played out, we got one of the the most dramatic endings to one of the the most dramatic Game Sevens in baseball history. I wouldn’t change a thing.

That wraps things up on this topic as far as I’m concerned.






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