Chicago Cubs: Pressure should be on Theo Epstein, not Joe Maddon

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has been operating under the ‘lame duck’ label for the last seven months, assuming the blame for all that’s gone wrong.

As Joe Maddon, one of the most successful managers in franchise history, attempts to guide the Chicago Cubs back to the playoffs, there is plenty of background noise.

Chicago’s poor finish to the first half of the season prompted Theo Epstein to suggest that “tons of changes” were coming. Even prior to this season, the firing of former pitching coach Jim Hickey, who had a relationship with Maddon since his days on the bench for the Tampa Bay Rays, prompted speculation that there was a rift between the front office and the manager.

With the trade deadline just six days away, the Cubs have multiple holes to fill. They need bench depth and should look for another left-handed reliever. Yet once again, the notion of “limited financial flexibility” is coming into play as the North Siders look for potential additions.

The Cubs have one of the highest valuations and generate some of the most revenue of any team in baseball. Should they fail to make necessary moves, internal or external, at the trade deadline, it should be a direct indictment on Tom Ricketts, Epstein and the rest of the team’s leadership, rather than its manager.