Never in my lifetime did I ever expect the Chicago Cubs would win a World Series.
But, of course, it happened. The tattoo on my left arm reminds me of that daily.
Yes, that was three years ago but since they had to wait 108 years since the last World Series title, you would think that Cubs fans – of which I’m one – would be ecstatic and, like me, revel in the fact that it did happen.
Which brings me to my point. Too many so-called Cubs fans have developed a sense of entitlement, so to speak. To some, one World Series title in the last century-plus isn’t enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the Cubs winning it all again. In fact, with the players they send out to the field on a daily basis, they probably should win at least another.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the most patient fan in the world. If you know me at all, you’ll find me from time to time wondering just what in the heck is going on within the organization.
However, perhaps because it still hasn’t totally sunk in, I’m still quite content with the 2016 world championship.
Therefore, I find the notion that Joe Maddon needs to be replaced as manager as totally preposterous. As far as I’m concerned, Maddon should remain the skipper as long as he likes.
Yes, he’s quirky and never pencils in the same lineup on back-to-back days. He sometimes tends to overthink a situation and – which irks many a Cubs fan – comes off as someone who thinks he’s more the most intelligent person on the planet.
Nevertheless, the fact remains, Joe Maddon guided the Chicago Cubs to a World Series championship. That alone should stifle any discussion about his dismissal.
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Maddon isn’t the one who can’t hit with runners in scoring position or continuously can’t find the strike zone even if it was 10 feet wide. That’s up to the players, not the manager. He can only use the guys he has at his disposal.
And, those of you who think the Cubs won the 2016 World Series despite Maddon should take a step back and think for a moment. They won the World Series for crying out loud!
I’m not one to delve deep into statistics, but in Maddon’s first four seasons, the Cubs have finished with records of 97-65, 103-58, 92-70 and 95-68. They’ve reached the playoffs each of those four seasons and made it to the National League Championship Series three times.
Remember the days of Joey Amalfitano, Preston Gomez, Lee Elia and more recently Tom Trebelhorn, Bruce Kimm, Mike Quade, Dale Sveum and Ricky Renteria? I do and it certainly wasn’t fun following the Cubs with those guys in charge.
The Cubs won 95 games last season without one of the best players in baseball (Kris Bryant) out with injury and their high-priced free agent acquisitions (Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Morrow) turning into total busts. Maddon deserved manager of the year votes for how he kept that mess afloat.
Team president Theo Epstein has taken full responsibility for the team’s slow start this season and should be commended for that. He said last week that fingers should be pointed at nobody except him. Not Joe Maddon or owner Tom Ricketts for not shelling out big bucks for free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
The reality is, if the Cubs continue to falter – and I don’t think that’s going to happen at all, it’s a long season and only 10 games have been played – the manager will probably take the fall.
Maddon wasn’t signed to a contract extension before the season began, which led to even further discussion of a possible managerial change. I’ve followed baseball long enough to know it could indeed happen, but let’s let the season play out a few more months before we draw any further conclusions.
The least of which involve Joe Maddon. As far as I’m concerned, he could be the Cubs manager for life.