TAMPA — Aroldis Chapman isn’t scheduled to take the mound this spring until Thursday, but he’s already got one save this year.
Chapman said he’s spoken several times to Cubs manager Joe Maddon following his criticism of Maddon’s use of him during the World Series and insisted Monday there’s no issue between the two.
“We spoke and we didn’t really even have to talk about that topic,” Chapman said through a translator. “There’s really no hard feelings. That’s the important thing to understand. He had his strategy, he went with it and we won. I was asked for my opinion [during a conference call] and I gave it. That’s all there is to it.”
Back in December, after signing a five-year, $86 million deal to rejoin the Yankees following the Cubs’ World Series championship — during which Chapman surrendered a game-tying homer to Cleveland’s Rajai Davis in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 — Chapman was critical of how often Maddon went to him.
“I believed there were a couple times where maybe I shouldn’t have been put in the game and he put me in,” Chapman said at the time. “So, personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me.’’
Maddon then defended his strategy to The Post’s Kevin Kernan: “Would I do it differently? No. There is no Game 7 without winning Game 6. And there is no Game 8 if you don’t win Game 7. That’s why you do what you have to do.”
Chapman and the Yankees will visit the Cubs in May, and the closer believes the matter will be behind them.
“It’s definitely not a problem,” Chapman said. “When I get to Chicago, I’m going to go into his office, sit down and have a laugh and say hey to my other old teammates.”
In the meantime, he intends to check out Ava, the Italian restaurant Maddon owns in Tampa.
“I’m going to go soon,” Chapman said.
Hopefully his review of the place is better than his take on Maddon’s managerial skills.
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