The Chicago Cubs have fired Rick Renteria, it seems the writing was on the wall for a while. Joe Maddon will be hired as the next Cubs manager. This has been the story for several days now. But with the dismissal of Renteria, there’s no more speculating, and the Rays have questions.
In the statement given by Theo Epstein, he details the timeline the Cubs followed once Maddon had opted out of his deal in Tampa Bay. He admits that the Cubs had immediate interest, contacting MLB to verify Maddon’s status. from there things progressed very quickly, as it was said that Hoyer traveled to meet Renteria in San Diego on Friday to give him the news the Cubs were making a change.
Could it have all happened that fast?
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Maddon had publicly stated that he was happy with the team, even after the departure of Andrew Friedman to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was his departure that made all of this even possible. The Cubs endorsed the job Renteria did, and were looking forward to next season and the promise it held. So everybody was happy. Why the change of heart?
The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 107 years. Epstein and Hoyer have made a commitment to a winning culture. Maddon created one in a small-market town, and on a consistent basis. Deals like this happen everyday in the business world. It’s not pretty, and no, not everybody should cheer the Cubs for the move. It is in a sense a bit “dirty”. But getting dirty is part of the game, on the field and in the front office.
Maddon had a unique opt-out clause. and while he stated he was happy, he may have looked around and wondered what else there could be. There was only one job opening at the time of his departure, but several teams may have been on the fence with their manager. Who are we kidding, several were. The Cubs may not have been one, but if Maddon’s agent Alan Nero gave a courtesy call, “skirting” the system of ethics so to speak, how could they not be interested?
The likelihood the Cubs actually tampered with Maddon is minimal. Was it a little wishy washy? Very much so. But it’s about the results in the end. And the Cubs and their fans have been looking for an end, and end to the 107 year drought. The deal may or may not have been a little dirty.
Brush it off, let’s play ball.
Welcome to Chicago, Joe Maddon.
The official introduction will take place at the Cubby Bear Lounge on Monday at 1 pm CT.