After the Chicago Blackhawks dismissed Joel Quenneville, Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon has to be wondering if he’ll be the next one headed out of town.
Whether you agree or not, Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon finds himself in a situation eerily similar to former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. In 11 years at the helm of the Hawks, ‘Coach Q’ went 452-249-6 with a postseason record of 76-52. That’s not to mention he helped bring home three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
He built a dynasty in Chicago and brought life to Blackhawks hockey. After winning the Cup in 2015, the Hawks lost in the first round of the playoffs to the St Louis Blues (in seven games) and in 2017, they missed the playoffs altogether.
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After starting 6-6-3 in 2018, Quenneville was fired. In today’s day and age, sports are becoming too much of a “what have you done for me lately” business.
Quenneville was a staple of Chicago sports, but Stan Bowman felt that it was time for a change. If one first-round exit in 2016 and a missed postseason in 2017 was enough to overlook everything Quenneville had done in Chicago, one can only look to the situation with Joe Maddon and the Cubs and feel that the 2019 season is one for ‘all the marbles’ when it comes to his tenure in Chicago.
Maddon, although only around for four seasons compared to Coach Q’s 11, has made a lasting impact for the city of Chicago. In four seasons, Maddon has gone 387-261, with four postseason appearances, one pennant, one World Series and a postseason record of 19-18. In 2015, the Cubs made an improbable run to the National League Championship Series before falling to the Mets. After winning the World Series in 2016, the Cubs lost in the 2017 NLCS and fell in the Wild Card game this year. So, like the Blackhawks, things have gone downhill for consecutive seasons after winning the championship.
With word from Theo Epstein that they will not extend the contract of Maddon this offseason, we see an increased emphasis on what happens in 2019. Epstein and Bowman may have a similar mindset in that their head coaches have done amazing things, but as they move forward change may be something that in the best interest of the organization. That’s not to say Maddon is done, but just because the fun-loving skipper has brought life back to the Cubs doesn’t mean his job is safe by any means.
2019 is a huge season for the Cubs. I love Joe Maddon and feel he is still the perfect manager for this team, but in order for him to stick around, the Cubs need to come out firing next season and show that they’re a championship club. More importantly, they need to carry that fire all the way through to the finish line.