In news sure to leave a few folks scratching their heads about the implications until they are made clear, Texas Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux, who is supposed to interview with the Chicago Cubs later this week for their managerial opening, and who was supposed to interview with the Boston Red Sox for the same today, has removed his name from consideration from the latter job.
Of the decision, Maddux said simply to Peter Gammons, “We’re in a good situation. My family moved here, the kids will be in school for three more years here.”
Maddux has not yet withdrawn his name from consideration for the Cubs’ job, but says he wants to talk things over with his family.
Now, there is going to be plenty of speculation that this means Maddux is the favorite for the Cubs’ job (and Jon Heyman has already so speculated), and that’s possible. I wouldn’t put it entirely past new Cubs’ brass to, on the one hand, conduct open, public interviews with Pete Mackanin and Dale Sveum, while simultaneously laying the groundwork on Maddux as their first preference. Could have groundwork have been far enough along that Maddux knew, for him, it was either Chicago or staying in Texas? Maybe. And maybe, to be safe, the Cubs wanted to bring in other candidates in case Maddux’s family concerns were not alleviated in a move to Chicago.
I tend, however, to take Maddux at his word. He’s got a family to think about, and he felt like the Boston situation – the city, the organization, the expectations, the tough 2011 season – wasn’t the right fit for him. It doesn’t mean that the Cubs’ job is more likely to be a good fit, nor does it mean the Cubs’ job is just as likely to be a bad fit.
UPDATE: Maddux offered the following statement about his decision, which, again, doesn’t exactly rule out the Cubs (some might say conspicuously so):
“This afternoon I spoke with Ben Cherington and thanked him for the consideration to interview for the Boston Red Sox managerial post. It is humbling to know an organization with so much baseball history is interested in my services.
“I could give more reasons why an opportunity like this should be taken rather than not, but the reason for withdrawing my name from consideration comes down to a family decision. My wife and two daughters are together in the same state for the first time in three years and words cannot describe my happiness. The game of baseball has many sacrifices but being apart from family is the toughest. I feel there is too much distance between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Boston to see my family as much as I’d enjoy.
“Again, I thank Ben Cherington and the Boston Red Sox for the flattery, honor, and compliment of considering me for their position.”