Ex-Cubs Manager Joe Maddon Regrets Aroldis Chapman's 2016 World Series Usage

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 27, 2020

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws during the eighth inning of Game 6 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

ESPN replayed Game 7 of the 2016 World Series on Tuesday night, revisiting when the Chicago Cubs prevailed 8-7 over the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings to win the franchise's first championship since 1908.

While the Cubs landed on the right side of history, then-Chicago manager Joe Maddon admitted to Bob Costas during his Inside Baseball live stream Tuesday night that he has one regret from Game 6, which the Cubs won 9-3.  

Then-Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman, who signed with the New York Yankees in December 2016, entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Chicago leading 7-2. First baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth to extend the Cubs' lead to 9-2 (22:45):

"I should not have sent [Aroldis Chapman] back out in the ninth," Maddon said. "Everything happened kinda quickly. [Anthony Rizzo] hit a homer that put us up by [seven] runs. ... I did not want to run away from a crucial moment in Game 6 and have Aroldis be in the bullpen and have us lose the game."

Chapman was tapped again in the bottom of the eighth of Game 7. The six-time All-Star surrendered a two-run home run to Rajai Davis that knotted the contest at 6-6 but went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.

Maddon added (h/t NBC Sports Chicago):

"Who would you rather have in those games at any number and under any circumstance? Even a tired Aroldis Chapman, you would prefer, I think, over a lot of other pitchers that we had at that moment. 

"It's just because [Davis] hit a home run. All of a sudden it became magnified, and I totally understand that. I promise you I would have done it the same way all over again, except for the one moment, where I would not have thrown him [five] pitches in the ninth inning. I would have just gone to the bullpen that point sooner.

"To me, that was the biggest mistake I made."

Maddon and David Ross also relived that magical 2016 season with ESPN's Clinton Yates:

ESPN @espn

Baseball Tonight Live is reliving the Cubs' historic 2016 World Series victory! @D_Ross3 and @MaddHalos join @clintonyates to discuss the moment Cubs fans waited a lifetime for 🙌 https://t.co/FepasmC8ic

Maddon parted ways with the Cubs following last season, and the Los Angeles Angels hired him roughly one month later. Chicago replaced Maddon with Ross, who served as the team's catcher from 2015-16 to end his playing career.

Chicago went 471-339 under Maddon and made the postseason from 2015-18.