Joe Maddon is here to punch your giblets this evening, so gird those loins.
Fan question to Joe: “What are the chances of Bryce Harper?” Maddon, no pause: “Not going to happen.” Jim Deshaies: “Lets move on”
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) January 16, 2019
Hey, so maybe he just meant they weren’t going to discuss that tonight at his charity event? Like, “that question is not gonna happen, man.”
Heck, if Maddon knew the Cubs did want Harper – as the front office reportedly does – is he really gonna say, in opposition to all messaging from the rest of the organization, “Yeah, we’ve totally got a chance!” Maybe he’s just keeping things in line?
In all seriousness, whatever Maddon specifically meant, it hasn’t been difficult to surmise that Harper was an extreme long-shot for the Cubs for quite a while now. Throw in the fact that although Maddon is unquestionably kept abreast of the broad roster strokes as they happen, I’m not so sure he is going to be out there declaring roster intentions, and I don’t really take much away from this comment. At least not beyond what we already thought: it’s pretty darn unlikely, and the Cubs failing to seriously pursue Harper this offseason is very disappointing.
UPDATE: Those “maybes” up there seem just a little bit more possible after watching the video:
— Ryan Baker (@RyanBakerMedia) January 16, 2019
It’s really entirely possible he was – in the context of that moment – just trying to move things along with Jim Deshaies. Possible!