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Maddon: A-Rod meeting didn't get 'heated'

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon and Alex Rodriguez met Sunday before the Cubs' game against the Nationals for the first time since the former American League MVP made comments critical of Yu Darvish on the ESPN broadcast two weeks ago.

"We talked openly about it," Maddon said. "It's one of those things that you speak in a candid manner to one another, and then you move on."

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CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon and Alex Rodriguez met Sunday before the Cubs' game against the Nationals for the first time since the former American League MVP made comments critical of Yu Darvish on the ESPN broadcast two weeks ago.

"We talked openly about it," Maddon said. "It's one of those things that you speak in a candid manner to one another, and then you move on."

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Both Maddon and A-Rod said the conversation was a good one, which Maddon said he hopes is "going to be a nice first step to building a great relationship with Alex." Maddon also denied a published report that he and Rodriguez had a "heated argument."

"To say that it was 'heated' is irresponsible," Maddon said after the game.

The Chicago skipper explained that he was simply standing up for one of his players.

"My job, I believe, is to protect my brood," Maddon said. "It's no different than being a parent, so if you're going to attack the group from the outside looking in, [my mom] Beanie raised me, my uncles and aunts raised me, my midget football coaches raised me, all these guys that raised me would have it no other way."

"I responded very open and candid about my comments," Maddon continued. "We had a great conversation about that. That's pretty much where I come from. I think it's hard to argue against that. I would respect anybody having the same opinion about protecting their brood."

Darvish, who signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February, has been on the disabled list since May 23 with right triceps tendinitis. With the Cubs rotation being inconsistent this season and Darvish's battle with injuries, Rodriguez aired what he believed were the grievances of the Chicago clubhouse during Sunday Night Baseball on July 29.

"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," Rodriguez said of Darvish during the broadcast. "He should be in Arizona somewhere getting treated. But don't get in the way of 25 players going after one mission: to win a ballgame."

Naturally, that didn't sit well with Maddon, Darvish or Darvish's agent, Joel Wolfe, who fired back defending his client on Twitter.

Regardless of how positive the pregame discussion was, Rodriguez said he doesn't regret the comments he made about Darvish.

"My job is to say fairly and objectively," Rodriguez said. "I have over 25 years in the game, and I'm going to call it as I see it. We don't always have to agree on everything. I do have a lot of respect for Joe and the Cubs organization, and I have for a long time and that hasn't changed. As a matter of fact, before I go to rehearsal, Joe and I plan to have drinks together, so that's planned, that's in the books."

Video: WSH@CHC: Chatwood freezes Adams to end the 9th

Chatwood in the bullpen
During Saturday's 9-4 loss to the Nationals, Tyler Chatwood made his third relief appearance since he was removed from the rotation after the Cubs traded for Cole Hamels at the end of July.

It was his best yet.

The 28-year-old right-hander tossed three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out two.

"I just thought that he really relaxed in that last inning yesterday," Maddon said. "Everything was working. He was more fluid. He hit 95. The curveball was a strike. He was throwing the ball where he wanted to."

This comes after Maddon said before Friday's game that he wasn't entirely sure what Chatwood's role in the bullpen would be. He had struggled for most of the season in the rotation, mainly due to command issues. Over 19 starts, Chatwood had walked 85 batters in 94 innings.

As far as a return to the rotation for Chatwood should his success continue, Maddon said it probably would only be as a sixth man, if the Cubs decided to use one and Darvish wasn't ready.

"The last couple hitters he threw to I thought might've been his sharpest work all year," Maddon said. "We've just got to keep getting him out there and see some of that consistency again.

"It was a nice first step for him yesterday."

Worth noting
• Darvish is scheduled to throw live batting practice before Tuesday's game vs. the Brewers at Wrigley.

• Right-hander Anthony Bass was activated off the Major League disabled list and outrighted to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday after clearing waivers. He is no longer on the Cubs' 40-man roster, which currently has 39 players.

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs, Tyler Chatwood, Yu Darvish