So, where are we at on this Joe Maddon thing, kiddies?
First, let’s backtrack a bit.
When I first heard the news that Maddon was opting out of Tampa, the obvious mental connection I and many made was that he was headed to Los Angeles to join Andrew Friedman.
However, as soon as reporting stalwarts such as Ken Rosenthal nixed that idea, I immediately shot out some texts. For me not to get a quick dismissal from one particular source was eyebrow-raising indeed.
I knew there was at least something to this Maddon-to-the-Cubs thing already at that point. So where are we now?
I am told this is not a complete deal just yet; there are other teams interested. However, it is apparent there is heavy motivation on both sides to consummate a deal.
Maddon’s Chicago-based agent Alan Nero is a big part of that; he apparently wants this as much as anyone. Enough to publicly mention the Cubs, even though they have a skipper currently employed.
I think this gets done without a doubt in my mind.
I have no idea at this point what happens to Rick Renteria. I wrote a short while back that the organization wasn’t completely thrilled with his in-game management or bullpen usage.
When I asked around about the notion that Renteria’s in-game management could be raising eyebrows within the Cubs organization, multiple sources confirmed it is a real concern.
I was also told at the time to keep my eye on the situation, but more likely for the following off-season.
The unexpected availability of Maddon undoubtably changed those terms. This is probably just happening a year or two earlier than anyone expected to visit this scenario, but so be it.
I am not going to waste space here today explaining just how much of a no-brainer this move is. We can revisit all of the virtues of Maddon at a later point. However, just close your eyes and tell me who you envision raising the Cubs’ first World Series trophy since 1908, Maddon or Renteria?
I’ll hang up and listen for your answer. Speaking of sports radio, raise your hand if you cited a local host yesterday who has “sources” and always likes to get into the cycle. Back to our program.
The Cubs are about to make their move on many levels. There has been so much planning and calculating to get to this point.
This huge move just happened to fall into their laps.