Saturday, September 21, 2013
Cubs releasing Gregg after tirade?
By Joe Kaiser
We mentioned on Thursday that the Chicago Cubs were making a late-season change at closer, swapping out Kevin Gregg in favor of Pedro Strop to get a better idea if Strop can factor into their future in the 9th inning. Any plans of that being a smooth transition vanished on Friday when Gregg gave up 4 earned runs in one inning of relief and unleashed on the Cubs organization afterwards.
“I expected to be treated a little bit better than this," said Gregg, according to CBSSports.com, before later cooling off and apologizing to manager Dale Sveum and vice president of baseball operations Theo Epstein after being called into Sveum's office following the game.
The question is now whether Epstein will dismiss Gregg's initial comments as merely a player venting after a poor outing and a demotion, or whether enough damage was done that the Cubs and Gregg will go in separate ways. "I told him I would sleep on it and decide if we would have any disciplinary action," Epstein told Bruce Levine and Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com, who added that Epstein may even consider releasing the veteran pitcher.
"I told him how disappointed I was with him given the way we treated him this year -- bringing him back after the first stint didn't go well," Epstein said, per the CBSSports.com story. "He ran to the media. That was his decision. I told him, as a man, I didn't respect that. ... After a couple minutes he understood that he was wrong and apologized profusely."
Gregg is a free agent after the season, and his 32 saves in 2013 could make him an attractive target for a numbers of teams in need of an experienced closer next season.