Montero says goodbye to Cubs hours after blasting Arrieta

WASHINGTON — Catcher Miguel Montero is saying his goodbyes to the Cubs and city of Chicago.

Montero posted a series of tweets Wednesday, one day after blaming pitcher Jake Arrieta for allowing seven stolen bases by the Washington Nationals. The team had no immediate comment amid reports that the 33-year-old Montero was being designated for assignment.

“It was an honor to play for the Chicago Cubs organization,” Montero tweeted. “Chicago will always be in my heart.”

Montero has thrown out one of 31 potential base stealers this season, hitting .286 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 44 games.

Montero unloaded on Arrieta following the Cubs’ 6-1 loss at Washington on Tuesday night, saying the Nationals were running all over the right-hander because they knew he was slow to the plate and that he was giving him no time to throw anyone out.

“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.”

Trea Turner stole four bases, Michael Taylor two and Anthony Rendon one for a Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record. Montero had a throwing error that led to a run scoring.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo said on ESPN1000-AM radio in Chicago that Montero’s comments were unprofessional and not acceptable.

“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” Rizzo said. “If you start pointing fingers, I think that just labels you as a selfish player. I disagree. I think we have another catcher that throws out anyone who steals.”

Willson Contreras has thrown out 16 of 31 potential base stealers this season and is the Cubs’ starting catcher. After the game, manager Joe Maddon said Arrieta and Montero working together was “an imperfect situation.”

“It’s not about the move to first; it’s about time to the plate more than anything,” Maddon said. “He’s a little bit slow… It’s something that he works on. There are times he’s quicker or better with it, but guys like Turner who are premier runners, it’s really difficult to get down to the number that makes it amenable even for a Willson. The best antidote is to keep that guy off the base.”

Montero drove in what wound up being the winning run in Game 7 of the World Series against Cleveland, ending the Cubs’ championship drought. During spring training, Montero expressed frustration at being a backup catcher again. Maddon at the time said: “We do not win the ring without him.”


–Associated Press

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