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Yu Darvish defends his pitch selection after Cubs postgame host's critical tweet

Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

Kaplan said he got his statistics from ESPN and stood by them. He said he has nothing against Darvish, whom Kaplan called an "interesting guy," and insisted he wasn't being critical in spite of the YuTooPredictable hashtag.

Usually players ignore Twitter comments, and TV hosts seldom criticize players from their teams because the team ultimately approves their hiring and firing.

Almost 15 years ago, on Aug. 27, 2004, Cubs reliever Kent Mercker sent a message to the press box ripping broadcasters Stone and Chip Caray for commentary made during the telecast of a Cubs-Astros game.

It evolved into a long-running feud between the announcers and the Cubs, with manager Dusty Baker defending his players. The feud escalated when Mercker verbally abused Stone on a team flight -- though Mercker later denied that report.

The '04 Cubs fell apart down the stretch and blew a wild-card spot, and Stone quit after the season.

When asked if Kaplan was still the Cubs' pre- and postgame host, a team official replied: "For a month and a half."

 

The Cubs next season are bolting for Marquee Sports Network, the cable channel the team is launching with Sinclair Broadcast Group in February. Kaplan recently signed an extension to remain at NBC Sports Chicago.

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