Chicago Cubs: Top things to keep an eye on heading into 2019 season

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Uncertainty surrounds the Cubs skipper

Joe Maddon has done everything he was hired to do.

He has turned the once lowly lovable losers into perennial winners.  He has taken the Cubs to four straight playoff appearances, something never done in the franchise’s rich 143-year history.  The skipper has averaged 95 wins with the team during his tenure and lead the charge in capturing the Cubs’ first World Series in 108 years.

And yet, he’s on the chopping block.

Sure, Maddon has his quarks.  His unique managerial style and decisions surely cause some chagrin from the fans and the upper brass of the organization but Maddon’s resume certainly does not warrant the team leaving him out to dry.

If the Cubs fail to do anything less than make the World Series, I fear Maddon will be out.  You could make the case that if they fall short in the NLCS, he’d have a fighting chance. But with how the team has sent coaches through a revolving door, I doubt they would retain his services if the club failed to do so for the third time in five years.

Just writing that is ridiculous.  The fact that Cub fans (and the front office) have gotten so jaded with this newly formed feeling of contending (a culture that Maddon has been a big part of), and yet we villainize the 64-year-old is preposterous.

(Getting off my soapbox now.)

I remain optimistic yet I fear that if we let Joe Maddon go, will have a domino effect and the winning culture we’ve become accustomed to will falter and cease to exist. We can only hope for a great season from the squad that will allow a new deal for Maddon to be possible but this will be one of, if not the most, talked about things throughout next season.