(CBS) A day later, Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio downplayed catcher Miguel Montero’s pointed criticism of right-hander Jake Arrieta after Chicago’s 6-1 loss at Washington on Tuesday night, when the Nationals stole seven bases, which set Montero off postgame.
Montero — who has thrown out just 1-of-32 base-stealers this season — was upset with Arrieta’s “slow delivery” to the plate, explaining he has no chance to throw out runners because Arrieta doesn’t work to hold them on. Bosio wasn’t as worked up as others were.
“These guys are competitors,” Bosio said in an interview with Mike Mulligan and David Haugh on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning. “Every day, we bring emotion, just like every other team. It’s part of the game, you know. It’s heat-of-the-moment stuff. For us, right now, I’m up, I open the blinds (in D.C.), it’s a sunny day and we got another game. It’s part of the game.
“I can’t speak for everybody else. I can only speak for myself. I’ve been in this game a long time. I’ve seen a lot of stuff in the heat of the moment. I don’t sit there and keep replaying it like you guys do, how everybody wants to. We’re trying to win a ball game, and we’re not playing up to par baseball for us because of the way we play.”
In an ESPN Radio interview Wednesday morning, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo called Montero’s comments “selfish” and expressed his displeasure over taking the issue outside of the clubhouse.
“This is all over TV last night,” Rizzo told ESPN Radio. “Now I gotta talk about it today. We win as 25, lose as 25. To call teammates out? What’s the point?”
Bosio cited the team’s poor play — the Cubs are 39-38 and a game out of first place in the NL Central — as the underlying reason for Montero being set off.
“We’re not playing consistent baseball,” Bosio said. “I think that’s more of the frustration for Miggy and all of us. It’s something that we’re trying to do. It’s just not happening. Stuff happens.
“My mouth didn’t drop wide open when I heard the comments. We surely didn’t help our matters by the way we played the game. That’s not our style of play.”
Montero was direct in his criticism of Arrieta late Tuesday night.
“It really sucked because the stolen bases go to me, and when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time,” Montero said. “So it’s just like, ‘Yeah OK, Miggy can’t throw nobody out,’ but my pitcher doesn’t hold anybody on.
“That’s the reason why they were running left and right today because they know he was slow to the plate. Simple as that. It’s a shame that it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anybody out.”
Listen to Bosio’s full interview below.