As the Chicago Cubs continue to navigate an up and down season, manager Joe Maddon’s future with the team appears to be up in the air.
Though the Chicago Cubs currently sit in first place in the National League Central, things haven’t exactly been smooth sailing this season. A plethora of injuries, both minor and serious, and woes on the road have contributed to a rocky campaign. All this coupled with some controversial managerial decisions have fans wondering if we’re witnessing the end of the Joe Maddon era.
The biggest gripe fans seem to have is how Maddon manages the bullpen. The Cubs’ bullpen has been their weakest link this year, and it’s not particularly close. But heading into the season, most people knew the bullpen had the potential to be a disaster.
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Some of the criticisms levied against the Cubs’ skipper appear to be valid. He can, at times, make you scratch your head with his pen decisions. But this is something every manager goes through, and more often than not, they’re going to end up being used as a scapegoat when things go wrong, regardless of whether or not they actually deserve the blame.
Lineup management has been a point of conversation, too. Maddon takes an unorthodox approach more often than not, and that tends to rub some people the wrong way; particularly the old school fans. Shuffling the lineup around all the time and continuing to bat Kyle Schwarber or Albert Almora in the leadoff spot has drawn the ire of many fans.
All this in the midst of a roller-coaster season has people wondering how much longer the Maddon era is going to last. If we really are that close to the end, how should we look back on his tenure as the Cubs’ manager?
This should be an easy answer. Since taking over in 2015, the Cubs have never won fewer than 92 games in a season. That’s no easy feat. Oh, and they WON THE WORLD SERIES. One would think this should solidify Maddon as one of the greatest Cubs managers of all time, but that doesn’t always appear to be the consensus.
Maddon is now one of only two managers to win a World Series on North Side. But somehow a huge sect of fans want him gone, despite being in the position to play October baseball for the fifth year in a row – something that has never happened.
Whether the Cubs decide to extend Maddon or not, one thing remains certain: he’s the savior of a franchise that toiled in mediocrity for over a century. He deserves to be regarded as a Chicago sports legend.