WCC Staff Discussion: Goodbye to Joe Maddon

The Windy City Chronicle staff got together and answered some questions about Joe Maddon’s time in Chicago. He will always be the man who helped bring the Cubs a World Series Championship. Maddon will be forever a winner and forever a leader who brought a winning culture to the North Side.

Let’s see what the staff had to say about Maddon.

Q: Are you okay with Joe Maddon leaving? Do you think it was good, bad, or ok to part ways?

Alex Patt: Joe Maddon had an incredible run here and we as fans owe a lot to him for bringing us a World Series victory. However I think the time has come for something new. After hearing Maddon speak today, it felt like both sides were ready for changes. All players and coaches run their courses with a team and it felt like that time had come with Maddon. New may not always been better but it gives the Cubs a new opportunity for changes and adjustments. Lets face it, other teams a have adjusted around them.

Thomas Gibbons: Not everything lasts forever. Maddon brought us Cub fans who have dealt with so much in our lifetimes a World Series. It was one of the best nights I have had as a sports fan. Looking ahead to today, it was time to move on. When the product on the field is losing, you have to put the blame somewhere. Maddon will not return but him and Theo Epstein seemed at peace with their decision.

Johnny Hatelak: It was the right move. A little sad but the right move. Of course, it’s up to the front office now. When you choose to part with a big name Manager like Joe you’d better follow that up with fixing what ails this team.

Jovanny Santiago: I’m fine with it. It was time to move on and find a new leader for the locker room.

Q: Would you agree he was the best manager for the Cubs in our lifetime and beyond?

AP: No question at all. He is the only manager to bring the Cubs to the postseason 3+ consecutive seasons and to win them a World Series in the past 100 years. Every year under him was a winning season and he changed the culture from “Lovable Losers” to winners.

TG: For sure. He will probably be the best manager of my lifetime. He changed the culture and set the Cubs on a winning path. Even with him gone now, the culture will not go away.

JH: Yes. I mean, what would be the alternative answer? That said, it was also one of the most frustrating considering the last two seasons. Definitely underachieving results considering the young talent.

JS: Yes. He will be the greatest manager in my lifetime and the greatest manager in Cubs history.

Q: Where will he end up in 2020?

AP: San Diego would be the perfect fit for him. Young upcoming team with lots of talent in the organization in great weather where he can enjoy some hot sun and cold drinks.

TG: San Diego seems to good to be true. Lot of similarities out there when he joined the Cubs back in 2015. Young team with a chance to build that winning culture.

JH: One of the three California teams with openings. LA, San Fran or the Padres.

JS: San Diego or Philedelphia.

Q:What did you think was Joe’s biggest strength as a manager? Strategy? Culture? In-game?

AP: Changing the culture to a winning one and having a great relationship with his players did a lot for team chemistry. He was a master at bringing a team together and it showed when his players praised him the past several days.

TG: Culture. He came in and instilled the winning culture and it led to a title. The players loved Joe and they worked hard for him.

JH: I’m going to go with another choice. I think dealing with various personalities. Joe’s a people person. A consensus builder. He was great with the media and got the team message out to the fans. Remained calm and positive even under extremely adverse condition.

JS: His ability to connect with the players. They played hard for Joe and showed up every day willing to play.

Q;Where do the Cubs go from here? Who are some ideal candidates for the job?

AP: Right now it is a little difficult to answer. I know David Ross (who the Cubs should at least bring in as a bench coach) has been floated around, but they may want someone with at least a little experience. There are a number of former players like Sam Fuld that have been brought up in casual conversation as well. More ideas can be streamed when the offseason officially begins.

TG: Here is David Ross on Baseball Tonight on Sunday about the Cubs open manager job

And according to Bob Nightengale, Ross is the favorite to be the Cubs next manager. Too good to be true? We are seeing more and more younger managers being hired. Ross was great on the Cubs. He worked hard, was a leader in the clubhouse, and the players loved him. Is he the guy to connect with the players and bring them back to the postseason? Maybe.

JH: I am not for bringing in a high profile name. With the analytics and scouting so sophisticated nowadays you could put me in there with the data sheet and I can manage successfully. The days of managing on guy instinct are over. Just hire someone smart with management leadership skills and a media savant.

JS: Adding a coach that played in this era would be the way to go I believe. David Ross seems like a great fit. Carlos Beltran, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Sandberg are others that come to mind that can turn this thing around and bring the Cubs back in championship contention.

Q: Favorite Joe Maddon memory?

AP: Calling the World Series parade Cubsstock 2016.

TG: It is hard to pick one memory because there were so many. But I’ll go with him just showing up to the Cubs on Day 1. You could sense the urgency. The Cubs had some young building blocks, Jon Lester joined the team in 2015, and the fanbase was ready for a winning product. And boy did they deliver.

JH: I’m not going to go with one specific moment. My favorite memory of Joe with the Cubs will be what an amazing job he did with the media. All the many many interviews he did and never really made himself, his players or the organization look bad. His ability to be both professional and personable at the same time was amazing here with the team.

JS: Being the manager on the bench for bringing the Chicago Cubs their first World Series in 108 years. I will always be thankful for that.

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