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Dodgers’ Miguel Rojas upset by criticism from former Marlins teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr.

 The Associated Press  |    Mar 27th, 2024 1:10pm EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas says he was upset by criticism from former Miami Marlins teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr.

The 35-year-old Rojas spoke on “The Chris Rose Rotation” podcast released Tuesday and responded to comments Chisholm made on ” The Pivot Podcast” released March 19, hosted by former NFL players Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor.

Chisholm, 26, had said his first three major league seasons from 2020-22 were “the worst three years of probably my life” and discussed how he felt Marlins’ veterans mistreated younger players like himself. Chisholm referred specifically to someone as the “team captain” without mentioning that player by name.

“Even though they suck, they’ve been there for nine, 10 years and the team calls them the team captain, but they’re not a good captain, they’re not a good person,” Chisholm said. “You’re not even a good athlete at this point. You’re just here and you’re bringing down the young guys that are supposed to be good.”

The Marlins didn’t have a captain in those years but Rojas was regarded as an unofficial captain. Rojas played for the Marlins from 2015-22, then was traded to the Dodgers in January 2023.

Rojas said he learned about Chisholm’s comments from media members, his agent and relatives.

“You can think that I suck at baseball, that I’m not a good player, that I’m not a good leader,” Rojas said. “But when you cross a line and say that I’m not a good person and I’m there just because, I guess he’s thinking that I’m telling someone that I’m supposed to be there and, ‘Please keep me here so I can be a major league baseball player for 10 years,’ that’s what kind of bothers me.”

Chisholm, a 2022 All-Star, said he was unhappy during his first three seasons with the Marlins because “you had vets that hate, hate what you do and who you are.” Chisholm, an avid shoe collector, discussed one way in which an unnamed veteran got under his skin.

“My first year in the big leagues, I get to the locker room, I’ve got 20 pairs of cleats,” Chisholm said. “Everybody know I’m a big shoe guy. I’ve got about 20 pairs of cleats, seven or eight pairs of just shoes to go and practice in, and I’ve got like 100 pairs of batting gloves –- all custom. Everything is custom. Nothing is normal. Nothing is white. Nothing is black. Everything has color.

“I think within the first week, one of my vets cut up my cleats, poured milk in my cleats and threw them in the trash and said, ‘Those shoes are ugly, bro. Get some new ones.’ I don’t want to say what I did on camera, but definitely I was not the rookie that took that easy. I definitely went and threw his whole locker in the trash. That’s me. You’re not going to come over here and mess with the things that I worked hard to design myself.”

Without referencing that specific incident, Rojas said he was unhappy that Chisholm revealed things that happened in the locker room by noting “that’s our house” and “there’s things that should never leave the clubhouse.”

Rojas said the Marlins’ veterans simply were trying to keep younger players accountable for their actions.

“Do you think they are the first ever players to be rookies in the league and be treated this way?” Rojas said. “You have to know that there’s players before you that have been treated the same way or worse. That doesn’t give them a reason to go on a podcast and talk about the veteran players and what they did to them.”

Chisholm credited Marlins manager Skip Schumaker for changing the culture after arriving last year, helping Miami earn its first playoff berth in a non-pandemic season since its 2003 World Series title.

“He got rid of everybody who didn’t want to do it like that,” Chisholm said. “And that’s how it’s supposed to be. You ain’t supposed to have a vet that’s trying to bring down the rookies.”

Rojas was asked if he’d be willing to sit down and talk with Chisholm to try to work this out sometime down the road.

“As soon as you have the kind of assumption on me and the person that I am, I’m not up to having a person in my life or anything that thinks I’m a bad person or a piece of (trash),” Rojas replied.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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The Associated Press