It’s crazy that just five days ago, Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs was not a thing. Now it feels like this gigantic, horned monster wearing velvet shoes that dominates our every thought. Everyone can see it, so everyone has to talk about it. Why is he wearing those velvet shoes? We want to know! He’s not telling anyone why he’s wearing them, but we know he’ll tell us soon. So we keep peeking around the corner at him, hoping we won’t take a horn in the nose for our trouble.
- This Sun-Times report indicates that the Cubs have been in discussions with Maddon, which was already expected to be true, but I suppose this is the first report that flat out says it. Sources tell Daryl Van Schouwen that the Cubs could have their Maddon answer by Friday.
- Buster Olney had Tim Kurkjian and Jesse Rogers on his podcast, each of whom was asked whether they would make a bet with Olney: he gets Maddon to the Cubs as manager, and they get every other team and every other job. Neither would take the bet with Olney, indicating that each believes Maddon to the Cubs as manager is more likely than any other possible outcome at this point. I wouldn’t take the bet either.
- Joel Sherman discusses the expectation that a tampering charge is coming if the Cubs do hire Maddon, and also asks the question – but provides no answer – about what happens with the Cubs’ coaching staff. If the Cubs hire Maddon, those are immediately going to be among the two most interesting manager-related discussions. (At least keep Chris Bosio and Lester Strode (also John Mallee and Eric Hinske, since one was just hired and the other passed on a chance to jump ship to the Yankees …. ))
- A great interview with Maddon from a few weeks ago on the changing nature of offense in the game. We’ll have to discuss this kind of thing in greater depth if the Cubs do end up making a move.
- I’m going to assume that all necessary negotiations have taken place at this point (there’s no World Series restriction there), and the only reason we’ve not yet heard an answer is because of the World Series news blackout. If I were doing some extrapolating, I would say that implies the Cubs will be getting Maddon, because if they weren’t, announcing that they were gladly sticking with Rick Renteria wouldn’t really constitute a major transaction announcement of the kind frowned upon by MLB (and would actually help put attention back on the World Series). Because that announcement hasn’t come, and because we believe the sides have been in negotiations … well, you do the math. That’s a big part of the reason I put the chances that the Cubs get Maddon at pretty likely yesterday, even as I admit that I don’t know anything, and we’ve all seen how crazy things can happen behind the scenes to scuttle a deal.
- It’s also possible that I’m wrong in assuming that all necessary negotiations have already taken place, and there could still be a lot to discuss before a decision is made one way or another. I hope that’s not the case, mostly for Rick Renteria. Whatever is to come, you’d like to see him – and the Cubs, frankly – know as soon as possible. I guess that’s true for most of the coaching staff, too. This has got to be a tough time for them, given that the Renteria-related uncertainty partially extends to them, as well.