CHICAGO (CBSNewYork/AP) — Aroldis Chapman now has a championship ring.
The Cubs showed a video tribute and manager Joe Maddon handed Chapman the ring as chairman Tom Ricketts and executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer looked on. Chapman hugged Maddon and exchanged warm embraces with Cubs players in front of the dugout.
Chapman, a midseason acquisition from New York last year, criticized the heavy workload Maddon gave him during the postseason. But he insisted they “have a good relationship.”
Maddon called him “one of the most important pieces” on the championship team.
Chapman told ESPN he believes his comments about his usage were blown out of proportion.
“I feel like sometimes some media members are looking for things to be controversial between Joe Maddon and I, where there is no controversy,” Chapman said. “I think it comes from an offseason interview, where they asked me what I thought of the way he used me (in the playoffs). I said what I thought, but I have nothing against my former manager.
“He did his job and I did mine. At that moment, I was a warrior, and I was there to listen to where my captain told me to go; that’s what I did. I have nothing against him. On the contrary, he was one of the people who lent me his trust and embraced me when I first came to the team.”
Chapman appeared in the final three games of the Cubs’ World Series win over Cleveland last fall, including a Game 5 save when he went 2 2/3 innings. He got the victory in Chicago’s 10-inning Game 7 win after allowing Rajai Davis’ tying homer in the eighth.
Chapman signed with the Yankees in the offseason.
Pitcher Adam Warren — dealt to New York in the Chapman trade — received a ring from Epstein and Hoyer in the bullpen before the game.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)