Theo Epstein Recalls Joe Maddon's Departure Differently, Notes Concerns About Organizational Complacency

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Theo Epstein Recalls Joe Maddon’s Departure Differently, Notes Concerns About Organizational Complacency

Chicago Cubs

Will this button everything up on the planned divorce of Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs? Probably not. But only fair to give Theo Epstein due course to respond to the way Maddon recalled the decline in the philosophical synergy of the relationship over the course of 2018 and 2019.

Among Epstein’s remarks yesterday in response to Maddon indicating that he felt ready to go before the 2019 season ended, and how he felt the front office wanted to get more and more involved after 2017:

You get the sense – although he’s not going to say it explicitly – that Epstein is confirming there was an increasing front office presence in the clubhouse culture, work habits, coaching staff decisions, rules, accountability, etc., in the final two years of Maddon’s tenure. From the front office’s perspective, I suspect – and we saw this going back to last offseason – there just needed to be a little bit tighter ship (hence going with a guy like David Ross, who has a little more of that hardass edge about him when it comes to the players).

The complacency that arrived after the World Series win almost certainly touched corners of the organization that go far, far beyond the clubhouse, but Epstein did raise the concern in the managerial context yesterday:

So, then, if the front office was growing increasingly concerned about complacency in the clubhouse – a culture that Epstein wants to come from the manager – and then if the front office felt it had to get more involved, which was pointed out by Maddon … well, you’ve got a recipe there for a bit of he-said, he-said on how things degraded. It also makes all the more sense that both sides felt it was a good time to part ways (whenever that precisely happened).

In the end, the divorce will probably always be remembered slightly differently by the two sides, even if both are adamant that it remains a positive experience, a positive relationship, and it was just time to part ways. I hope Maddon does very well with a talent-rich Angels roster, and I hope Ross and the new coaching staff can be part of helping maximize the wins available to a talented Cubs roster.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.