Joe Maddon went from the hero of Cubs fans by winning the World Series in 2016 to not getting a new contract from the team after the 2019 season.
All Maddon did was make the playoffs four straight years from 2015-2018. The circumstances of Joe Maddon’s departure appeared mostly amicable, but Maddon did shed a bit more light onto what happened towards the end of his tenure in an interview with ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.
The new Los Angeles Angels manager said his departure from the Cubs did not come suddenly. A number of things led to the philosophical differences between Maddon and Theo Epstein.
"Philosophically, Theo needed to do what he needed to do separately,” Maddon said. “At some point, I began to interfere with his train of thought a little bit. And it's not that I'm hardheaded. I'm inclusive. But when I started there -- '15, '16, '17 -- it was pretty much my methods. And then all of a sudden, after '18 going into '19, they wanted to change everything."
Maddon said the front office also "wanted to control more of what was occurring in just about everything." Despite that, he said he still likes Epstein, but it was time for the two sides to part ways.
The Cubs struggled down the stretch in 2019, finishing 84-78 and seven games out of the division lead. A nine-game losing streak in late September took the Cubs out of the race and marked the first time the North Siders missed the playoffs since 2014.
Whether or not the interference Maddon referred to led to that slump is hard to quantify, but it is interesting to think about.
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