New Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was officially introduced by both Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein during a press conference at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville Monday afternoon.
Maddon, who is the 54th manager in franchise history, has raised the bar for this club and is already thinking playoffs as the team enters the 2015 campaign.
"“I’m going to be talking playoffs next year, I’m telling you that right now. I can’t go into spring training any say anything else. You have to set your goals high, because if you don’t set them high enough you might hit your mark, and that’s not a good thing. We’re gonna talk World Series this year, and I’m gonna believe it. It’s in our future.” Maddon via ESPN"
There have been at least 10 managers to sit in the same position as Maddon and talked about bringing a World Series back home to Chicago. As we all know, it’s been almost 107 years, but when asked if he had any idea what he has gotten himself into he replied with, “I love it. The challenge is so outstanding, how could you not want to be in this seat?” Maddon replied.
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In nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon led the team to four playoff appearances with two AL East titles, and even reached the World Series in 2008 but fell to the Philadelphia Phillies. One question that Cubs President Theo Epstein expected to be asked was in regards to how the team handled the situation with former manager Rick Renteria.
Epstein admitted that the front office was caught with a dilemma on their hands but wanted to do what was best for the Cubs organization as a whole. Epstein continued to say that he felt like he wouldn’t have been doing his job if he didn’t take the opportunity to hire Maddon, and wished Renteria nothing but the best while not forgetting what he had accomplished in his one year stint with the club.
The 60-year-old manager told reporters that he was “totally oblivious to all of that” after he received a phone call that revealed he had the option to out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. Maddon said he was on his way to a golf tournament in his home town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania when he got word of what he was unaware of.
With all of the hoopla out of the way, it’s time for Maddon and the Cubs to get down to it. If we’re going to be talking World Series next year, that’s all going start now.