Another member of the 2016 World Series team is gone. Following the departures of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez, the team’s former ace had an unceremonious end to his Cubs tenure.



The Chicago Cubs released pitcher Jake Arrieta, Wednesday night. It was the correct move for both parties but it didn’t happen without a little drama beforehand.

Arrieta had another horrific start on Wednesday. The right-hander allowed seven runs to the Brewers in the first inning. He departed after four innings but not before yielding eight earned runs, eleven hits, and three walks. This has been the story of Jake Arrieta’s season as his ERA ballooned up to 6.88. In his last 15 starts, he had an 8.28 ERA and failed to make it past the fourth inning in nine of them.

Arrieta Tells Reporter To Take His Mask Off

After the game, he didn’t do himself any favors. Veteran beat reporter Bruce Levin asked Arrieta a question on mentoring young pitchers over Zoom. Instead of answering the question, he responded with “I’d love you to take your mask off. I don’t think anybody’s around you.”

This was Arrieta’s final Zoom session as a member of the Chicago Cubs. He was released later that night. Jed Hoyer said that Arrieta’s comment did not come into play when they decided to cut ties. After Wednesday’s media session Hoyer had a sit down with Arrieta and David Ross and the three decided this was the best course of action.

It was understandable why Arrieta was frustrated, and in the grand scheme of things it is not that big of a deal but, the remark came off as childish. Arrieta has no idea why the 65-year old Levine was wearing the mask. According to other reporters, Arrieta did not ask him to remove the mask because he couldn’t understand the question, he was just being disrespectful.

Arrieta is opened the season by letting everyone know of his anti-vaccine stance so this really comes as no surprise. But responding to a question about being a role model for younger guys with this doesn’t send the best message. To Levine’s credit, he did not mention the exchange in his article or paint Arrieta in an unfavorable light.

Ugly End For A Cubs Legend

Jake Arrieta will forever be a Chicago Cubs legend. His dominant 2015 Cy Young season, a victory over Garrit Cole in the 2015 Wild Card game, two World Series victories, and two no-hitters made sure of that.

“That’s one of the things we did talk about last night,” Jed Hoyer said on Thursday. “Nothing that happened on the mound last night or the other nights in any way diminishes his role in club history. I think there is a good argument to make that he’s one of the more influential people in the history of the franchise.”

“This guy’s a legend here.”

His former catcher David Ross added “It just stinks, I try and forget stuff like Wednesday night. What he’s done for this organization, how consistent he’s been with the time that I was on his team in ’15 and ’16- those are the things I’m holding onto.”

It’s too made the legend couldn’t make a more graceful exit.

Mitchell Kaminski
Mitchell studies sports communications at Bradley University and works for Braves Vision, an organization that works alongside ESPN broadcasting games and covering Bradley sports. Creator of Dorm Room Dispute podcast.