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The press conference is a couple hours away (I’ll do a live blog for the press conference that starts at 2pm CT), but the Chicago Cubs have now made it officially official. Joe Maddon is the next manager of the Cubs.

Let the next era of the Cubs begin.

From the press release:

A two-time A.L. Manager of the Year during his nine seasons with Tampa Bay (2006-14), Maddon joins the Cubs after guiding the Rays to four post-season appearances (2008, 2010-11, 2013), including the organization’s lone World Series appearance in 2008 when he earned his first Manager of the Year award before collecting the honor again in 2011.  Only three active managers have more post-season appearances than Maddon (Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona, Mike Scioscia).

Maddon, 60, owns a .517 career winning percentage (781-729, including stints as interim manager with the Angels in 1996 and 1999) that ranks seventh among active managers (minimum 500 games).  He brings 40 years of professional baseball experience to the Cubs, including 21 seasons at the major league level (12 as a coach, nine as a manager).

After succeeding Lou Piniella in Tampa Bay, Maddon helped turn a 61-101 team in 2006 to a 97-65, A.L. Championship winning club in 2008, the first of five seasons of 90 or more wins with the team.  Tampa Bay posted six-straight winning seasons from 2008-13 and joined Texas as the only clubs in baseball to record 90 or more wins in four-straight seasons from 2010-13.

Maddon had a three-year playing career in A-ball as a catcher in the Angels organization (1976-78) before moving to coaching and managing. He began his managerial career in 1981 in Idaho Falls and spent 12 years at the minor league level as a manager or instructor before his promotion to the Angels major league staff as bullpen coach on May 17, 1994, a season that began with Maddon as the club’s player development director.  He moved to first base coach in 1995 and in 1996 served as first base coach, bench coach and interim manager.

Overall, Maddon served as the Angels bench coach for most of his final 10 seasons in their organization, including the final six under manager Mike Scioscia that featured a World Championship in 2002, one of three post-season appearances as a member of the Angels coaching staff.

Maddon became the fourth manager in Tampa Bay history on November 15, 2005, and departed with 754 victories, 549 more wins than any other manager in franchise history.

Away from the field, Maddon is an active participant in the community by devoting time and resources to numerous charitable endeavors, including the Hazelton Integration Project (HIP) in his Pennsylvania hometown and his annual “Thanksmas” event in St. Petersburg, Fla. HIP was created to help develop and maintain an atmosphere to unify the varied cultures in Hazleton while Thanksmas for the last eight years has served approximately 7,000 meals to individuals in need and provided many with clothing, shoes and scarves.

Joe and his wife, Jaye, reside in Tampa.  He has two grown children, Sarah and Joey, and four grandchildren.

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