Joe Maddon; Manager of the Chicago Cubs – #67

I have been saying that Joe is gone either before the season ends or shortly thereafter. My main reasoning is based on his DNA match with his Millennial group of athletes, who are getting a little “old” in the tooth and wore subject to injuries and aches that their bodies can’t withstand.  Joe is still a big softie, that the multi-millionaire players don’t need or respect.  Their .531 average is the lowest in their five seasons, through 9-2-19, as contenders and they have played one game over .500 since May.  On one hand, he has the highest winning percentage .588 of any Cubs manager in a 100 years, and being the only person to manage a championship team on the North Side since the invention of the radio – suggests that Theo sees something, a DNA mismatch between Joe and his Players. For most general managers, the winning % plus the World Series Win would have been adequate reasons for extending Joe’s contract, at the beginning of the season, for another year, but Theo refused buying time until the 2019 season is over.  Some of my views of Joe are as follows:

  1. Joe accepted Epstein’s “Millennial Mandate” giving in to the player’s request, to know if they are in the lineup, three days in advance, and he has been more hands-on coaching than before.  Nellie Fox played 2nd base for the Sox with a broken finger. Ernie Banks kept saying “Let’s Play Two” – both of these players never had to be informed in advance of playing the game.  I had the pleasure of meeting both of these players, and they loved the game.
  2. Joe recently was quoted – “I don’t have any answers” – I normally do, but I don’t, because its so unusual or awkward.  Same team, same methods, same meetings, same kind of work, same conversations. We stay in nice hotels, sleep well, but we just haven’t done well in night games on the road. I don’t get it; I really don’t get it!  Would you be happy with a manager that talked like that?
  3. We are too reliant on the home run – The players get paid handsomely to do their total job – the home run represents only one option for scoring runs. Why don’t they feel more pressure to be accountable for earning their paycheck by doing the total job? How about the 7th game in Cleveland – it took a single, a fly ball that advanced the pinch runner, an intentional walk, a double, another intentional walk and a single to win the World Series in the 10thinning.
  4. The other night my Condo was shaking as I kept screaming at my TV screen.  Joe had one-out, man on second, and two pinch hitters ready to bat for a veteran who had not had a hit in quite a few times at bat nor did his batting average resemble that of his younger years.  He kept the veteran in the game to bat with two bats ready to go to work for Joe.  Of course, the veteran struck out as did the status quo next batter.  What would you have done in that management situation? Is this a way to gain respect from the younger players?  Too much empathy for seasoned veterans.
  5. Why did Ben Zobrist take off four months for a divorce?  Could you afford to give time off to that degree in your business?
  6. Joe – wake up – the Cubs players don’t seem to be too concerned about you, as they are more worried about their own futures than yours.  Remember they are Millennials and come from a generation called “Me Too.”

All of Chicago is rooting for Joe to win another World Series, and at that point I am asking him to give Theo the finger, and sign a multi-year contract with one of the NY teams. Do that, because you would make a lousy bus driver – however, knowing how many episodes of the “Honeymooners” were filmed sounds exciting.

JOE – Play every inning like it’s the last. With 24 games left to play we have to take care of the Cardinals who are 3 games ahead of us. The Millennials will have 18 consecutive games until they get a day off on the 23rdof September. They will be moaning and screaming, bet you Nellie and Ernie would have been delighted to look at an upcoming schedule like that. If the 2018 MVP Christian Yelich is coming up to bat and first base is open, don’t pitch to him –walk him. Unless you want him to hit a multi-run homerun.