Wearing a groovy jacket featuring one of his baseball art images from this past season, Joe Maddon spoke with the media at the Winter Meetings for the first time since it was confirmed by the front office that no extension would be coming for the Cubs’ manager. He will enter 2019 as the manager on the final year of his deal, with no assurances that a future with the Cubs will be coming after that.
“Theo [Epstein] and I have had some really good conversations and I totally get where he’s coming from,” Maddon said of the lack of an extension. “I am not offended. I don’t feel badly about it. I’ve been there before. It’s all good. I am very happy with my stature and my status. If you have a lot of self-confidence, things like that do not bother you, and I do …. I think you’ll see that trend continue. The whole objective now, and we want to put the emphasis on us and winning. And I definitely don’t want the emphasis on me …. I am very happy with my stature and status.”
The front office has challenged Maddon to get back out onto the field more, working directly with the players. What that says about how things have gone the last couple years I don’t really want to speculate, but I do think it’s fair to note that the insane volume of coaching staff turnover ain’t great for continuity of instruction with the players. So if Maddon is the only thread that runs through it all over the past few years, then it’s basically incumbent upon him to be more engaged with the players. He’s the guy who has been there all along.
For his part, Maddon says he’s excited about it, seeing it as a challenge. And it really could be something that reinvigorates Maddon a bit – we can all use that sometimes in our professional lives – which can only help the Cubs next year.
From there, Maddon says he wants to return in 2020 and beyond, but he’s looking at this way: “Let’s just win the World Series and see how that all plays out.”
Fine by me.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 11, 2018