CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon met with ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez to clear the air before Sunday night’s game against the Washington Nationals after Rodriguez made controversial comments about right-hander Yu Darvish two weeks ago during a broadcast.

“Alex and I had a really nice discussion,” Maddon said. “I felt good about it. Hopefully he felt equally the same.”

Rodriguez indeed echoed Maddon’s description of their talk.

“We had a brief, very positive conversation,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also addressed the situation during the Sunday Night Baseball telecast, saying, “We had a very positive, constructive conversation in Joe’s office.”

Maddon was upset after Rodriguez said Darvish was on his own rehab plan as he recovers from a right-elbow ailment while also indicating that this was an issue in the Cubs’ clubhouse. Maddon refuted those comments when they were made, and said he told Rodriguez as much Sunday.

“When you speak badly about my group it brings out the Hazleton in me,” Maddon said, referencing the Pennsylvania town in which he grew up. “I responded very open and candid. … My job is to protect my brood. It’s no different than being a parent.”

Rodriguez said he wouldn’t take back any comments he made that night but feels he and Maddon left it on good terms.

“My job is to say it fairly and objectively, and I have 25 years in the game,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t always have to agree on everything, but I do have a lot of respect for Joe and the Cubs organization … and that hasn’t changed.

“Joe and I plan to have drinks together. That’s planned. That’s in the books.”

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