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Friday, April 20, 2018

Theo Epstein furious with Kevin Gregg for complaining to media

Kevin Gregg CubsChicago Cubs GM Theo Epstein is considering releasing Kevin Gregg in response to the relief pitcher’s comments to the media after Friday’s game.

Gregg took the loss after allowing four runs in a 9-5 defeat to the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. After the game, Gregg complained to the media that the Cubs had told him a few days earlier that he would not be a part of the team’s closer plans for next season.

“For an organization to just come out and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go a different direction …’ You know, professional courtesy would have been nice. I expected to be treated a little bit better than this,” Gregg said, via the Chicago Tribune. “They can treat their players how they want. Unfortunately we are under their control. It is not necessarily how I would have done it, but they have to do things the way they want it.”

Gregg’s complaints got back to Epstein, who called Gregg into manager Dale Sveum’s office for a meeting shortly thereafter. Turns out Gregg misunderstood what Sveum told him a few days earlier, so the pitcher went up to the press box to tell the media that he misunderstood what Sveum had told him.

Got all that?

Gregg was signed by the Cubs to a minor league deal in April, shortly after he was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gregg, who is in his 11th season in the bigs, entered Friday’s contest with 32 saves and a 2.90 record. He is now 2-5 with a 3.45 ERA after getting blown up on Friday.

Gregg apparently thought the Cubs told him in the meeting a few days ago that they would be mixing reliever Pedro Strop into the closer role to see how the former Oriole does in the ninth inning. Gregg interpreted that as he was being stripped of the closer role and wouldn’t be brought back for 2014. After meeting with Epstein and Sveum after Friday’s game, Gregg changed his tune.

“Now that I have sat down with Theo and Dale again, they clarified things and I was able to cool off a little bit. … They want to get a look at Pedro (Strop as a closer), but they are not going to take anything (away) from me, either,” Gregg told reporters in the press box. “They wanted to work together to see what this future holds for the organization with him and myself. I am OK with that. I like that idea.”

Will Epstein release Gregg for complaining about the way the organization treated him? I doubt it. But there certainly is something up with this situation. Either Gregg isn’t a very good listener, or Epstein doesn’t like being badmouthed in the media, because something isn’t adding up here.

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