Miguel Montero Message is Clear, but Timing is Awful

miggy

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero, or "Miggy" as he is called, picked one of the worst possible times to come out and complain about his time with the Chicago Cubs. On the day of the parade, while everyone was celebrating the Cubs first title in 108 years, Miggy was telling a Chicago radio station that he was disappointed that he didn't play much and that manager Joe Maddon didn't communicate with him, or tell him what his role was.

In other words, it sounds like Montero can't wait to leave. All this on a day when everything should be rosy. Talk about bad timing—hell, had better timing.

Look, I'm all in favor of professional ballplayers speaking their mind. It is a somewhat rare occurrence when a player being interviewed tells the truth, as opposed to all of the "take it one day at a time" baloney.

So perhaps if it had been a different day, this wouldn't puzzle me so much. However, even then, I still would have questioned why he was complaining about having to share time with a catcher in David Ross who is a terrific leader and had a good season, and a young receiver playing well with so much promise.

After all, they won the damn World Series, so one would think that Miggy should have been pleased as punch to be a part of such a thrilling event, no matter his role. Limited or not, he was a huge part of the Cubs postseason success, with a pinch-hit grand slam to break a 3-3 tie in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Meanwhile, it's not as if Montero was having a great season to justify his expectations for more playing time. The man couldn't throw. Baserunners often steal off the pitcher, and that is especially true with guys like Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. But his throwing was really awful.

Granted, he calls a good game and he is one of the better framers in baseball. But having three catchers gives Maddon flexibility he desires. And when you're trying to win a championship, it's all for one and one for all, right?

Well, until now anyway. I mean, it's not as if the man didn't give his all. He did. And he was a good teammate from all accounts. It's just that .216/.327/.3575 with a rag arm doesn't really justify increased playing time, $14 million salary or not.

Now, he's signed for one more year at big bucks so for him not to return would mean the Cubs having to eat a big chunk of his pay to move him. But the Cubs must look to move him if he truly doesn't want to be there. The Cubs World Series title was as much about team chemistry as it was about talent, in my opinion, and you can't have a disgruntled teammate standing in the way of that chemistry.

Having said that, it's not my money and I understand that it would be challenging for Theo to go to Ricketts and say we're going to eat $10 million dollars of the $14 million just to trade him. But this situation should be closely monitored.

In fairness to Montero, the issue of communication is something I hope Joe takes to heart and learns from. If what Montero says is true, then I feel Joe should do a better job of talking to his ballplayers and letting them know honestly where they stand. They may not like it, and it may be tough love, but it's better than leaving them hanging.

But all of this really boils down to the simple fact that regardless of which side you're on, whether or not you agree with Montero that he was treated unfairly, the main issue is the timing of his complaint.

Today was a day for celebration, not for bitching and moaning. Unfortunately, to Montero, he didn't see it that way.

 

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