Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol hears boos, but he says he’s still confident
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com
Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Marmol reacts after striking out Alex Gonzalez in the eighth inning of the Chicago Cubs 7-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Cubs home opener Monday April 8, 2013 at the Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Former closer Carlos Marmol said Monday he expects a quick resolution to sexual-assault allegations brought against him during the winter in the Dominican Republic and said the issue hasn’t affected his state of mind as he has struggled early this season.
In fact, he said he talked last week with his attorney in the Dominican and was assured even before things went from bad to worse on the field that he soon would be exonerated.
‘‘I talked to my lawyer, and he said so far it’s good,’’ Marmol said.
Another source close to the situation also said he
expects Marmol will be cleared before the case is heard. The case was sent to a higher court in the capital city of Santo Domingo early this year.
Meanwhile, Marmol — who lost his closer job Sunday — will be used when the Cubs are trailing in the
middle-to-late innings ‘‘to build some confidence back up,’’ manager Dale Sveum said Monday.
On Monday, that meant the eighth inning. The Cubs were trailing 7-2 when Marmol entered to a round of boos, which only got louder when his first-pitch fastball was hit to the base of the left-field wall by Ryan Braun. Marmol also walked Jonathan Lucroy and threw a wild pitch, but he got two strikeouts and a pop-up to get out of the inning unscathed.
After the game, when
reporters approached him at his locker, he turned around with a big smile and said, ‘‘Really?’’
He said his confidence and mind-set are in good shape and insisted her wasn’t bothered by the booing, which began when his name was announced during pregame introductions.
‘‘Not at all,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t even listen. I hear the boos, but I don’t take it in a bad way. I can’t worry about that. They pay the money to see us, and they see a player not doing his job. . . . I’m not the first one or the last one. I’m fine. I’m trying to get people out.’’
Before the game, president Theo Epstein said he supported Sveum’s decision to demote Marmol after five games. It marked the third time in as many seasons he has been demoted — at least temporarily — from the job.
‘‘He pitched really poorly three times to start the year,’’ Epstein said. ‘‘It was important for the team to make a change. We need to go into these close games feeling we can win late. That’s really
‘‘Marmol last year went bad after struggling, fixed himself and came back and contributed. We need to be open to that possibility again.’’
Especially if they want to get any value for him — and what remains of his $9.8 million salary this season — in a trade this summer.
Until then, Marmol is keeping his sense of humor. Asked again what he plans to do about his bad start, he said: ‘‘I’m going to put us in the World Series and make the fans happy again.’’