Alex Rodriguez was critical of Yu Darvish during ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast this week.
Darvish’s agent, Joel Wolfe, delivered some criticism of his own the next day. His was aimed squarely at the player turned broadcaster.
“If this story had come from a credible journalist, we might have shown some concern,” Wolfe told Patrick Mooney of the Athletic. “But it came from A-Rod, so we’re paying it little attention.”
Darvish, a four-time All-Star with the Texas Rangers, was dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline last summer. As a free agent during the offseason, he signed a six-year, $126-million contract with the Cubs.
His tenure with his new team definitely has gotten off to a rough start. Darvish is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA and hasn’t pitched since May 20 because of tendinitis in his right triceps.
In his comments Sunday night, Rodriguez indicated that Darvish is causing problems in the clubhouse with the way he is handling his injury.
“It’s been a very sobering year with the debacle of the start of Yu Darvish, who’s been devastating,” Rodriguez said. “I mean, a guy to start a six-year contract with three of the worst months you could ever see . ...
“Now [the Cubs] won’t say this publicly — but it’s gotten so bad that they let him basically police and take control of his own rehab, which is scary, because they don’t want to create anything that he can kind of push back against.
“So he’ll let the team know when he’s ready, which, let me just tell you what that means to a clubhouse. You lose respect quickly. And my concern for him — because he’s a great young talent — is it may take two or three or four years and you may never get that back.”
He added: “This is an issue that, if you’re Cubs Nation, you have to watch the Yu Darvish development because it’s not good inside that clubhouse right now.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was told of Rodriguez’s comments after the game.
“I totally disagree with that,” Maddon said. “Everyone knows what’s going on. We know there is an injury there. We support his recovery. Everybody in there knows and everyone in the coaches room knows also, throughout the organization.
“It’s unfortunate that it was relayed that way, but it’s not true.”
Wolfe was much more harsh with his take on Rodriguez’s comments.
”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 said.
“Joe Maddon cleared that up afterwards. [A-Rod’s] attacking a player who is injured and on the disabled list, which is difficult for any player, especially one who has a big contract and is in his first year [with a new team]. Imagine how difficult it is for Darvish.”