With the Chicago Cubs sitting at .500, there’s still no panic from manager Joe Maddon. Fans and even some here at Cubbies Crib are reaching that point–but the Cubs’ skipper isn’t–and I trust him over the fan base.
Chicago Cubs‘ fans are a difficult group to get a read on. Thanks to the success of last season, it’s hard to pick out the lifelong fans from the bandwagon ones in basic conversation. Spend a little bit of time with one, and I’m sure you’ll figure it out. But many fans have started “panic mode.” It’s almost the middle of June, and the Cubs aren’t–well, the Cubs from last year. Joe Maddon doesn’t seem to be getting upset, and that’s making the fans–upset.
It’s a constant go-round with this team. A pitcher or hitter has a stretch of some bad games, and the fans are ready to send them down. A bad outing or two from a pitcher? He’s lost it. He’s done. Release him. Now, there are a few who’s slumps are more than just a few games. Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell for example. But Maddon is aware that these are the players that helped get them there last year. And he believes they’ll help do it again. It’s just going to to take patience through the hard times, even if the fan base is getting tired of hearing it. Maddon isn’t getting tired of saying it.
Not giving up on the guys that were here
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"“It takes a lot of conversation. It takes a lot to help bring them back confidence-wise. They’re missing their confidence right now more than anything. But anger is not a solution. Seat of the pants decisions are not a solution, either. h/t Tony Andracki, CSN Chicago"
Now, we’re not immune to some of these things. Being a sportswriter is about the bad and much as it is the good. People might tell us they don’t want to hear it, to let “Theo and Joe make the decisions.” But we’re going to do it anyway. Maddon doesn’t want to do “seat of the pants” decisions. I recently recommended a few of those–or outside of the box at least–and he’s used a few of them. The chances I had anything to do with it are slim to none, but it somehow got through to Maddon.
Frustration happens for Maddon
It’s easy to get frustrated with a player when he struggles. Spend some time in a Cubs’ Facebook group, and you’ll see that. And while Maddon IS frustrated, he’s stayed consistent with the players. He’s continued to try and find them rest when they need it, at-bats when it’s time, etc.
"“These are our guys and I believe in these guys. They are good. They’re gonna show it again relatively soon. We’re struggling right now back and forth, but this is a great group of major-league players.”"
Many may think this is “coachspeak.” Maddon won’t use the word panic because it’s not what’s expected of him. But it’s clear he sees the woes the offense is having. The Cubs are struggling, but it’s been a case of bad luck as much as anything. As bad as it seems they are, they’ve had a few games in their grasp that they’ve let get away. So Maddon will continue to stick with the players on the roster.
This isn’t the Cubs of early this decade. When the Cubs had a few decent players, but most were simply placeholders. This team does have a strong roster, and they will eventually start to perform. It’s won’t always be this way. I don’t believe that a team with this many talented major leaguers can continue