I’ve been beating the drum for the re-signing of Joe Maddon all year.
So in this week’s SB Nation FanPulse survey, we asked you whether you think the Cubs should retain Joe for 2020 and beyond.
78.5 percent of respondents said “Yes,” 21.5 percent “No,” a resounding vote of confidence in Joe.
You might think this is an exaggeration, but if anyone but Joe Maddon is managing this year’s Cubs team, with all the injuries they’ve suffered, I think they’d be in fourth place in the N.L. Central. There’s no one else who could have possibly gotten the kinds of performances out of the players the Cubs have on the active roster, the guys Theo Epstein gave him. You think David Ross or Mark Loretta could have done this? Think again. This is by far the best managing Joe has done in his five years in Chicago.
“Joe’s done a great job as always,” Epstein said. “Since he’s been here, he’s been a terrific partner. There were a lot of moving parts thrown at him this year and that’s not the type of thing that usually bothers him. He takes such an even-keeled approach to managing the club, so he’s not rattled by that. He looks for solutions and collaborates. With him, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell if he had a healthy roster or if we’re leading the league in injuries. He’s just unflappable that way.”
That’s exactly right. Does that sound like an executive who’s ready to replace the best manager the Cubs have had in decades? It sure doesn’t to me.
If Theo wants to know why this year’s Cubs are struggling, all he needs to do is look in the mirror.
That’s why I think the best thing he could do is offer Maddon a two-year extension (thus, Joe’s and Theo’s contracts would sync up and both expire after 2021) right now. Like, today. You might recall that in a similar situation in 2016, when Theo’s first five-year deal was about to expire, he didn’t get extended until the last week of the season, even though that season was the Cubs’ best regular season in over a century.
Get it done, Theo. Today!
Here are the other SB Nation FanPulse results from this week. First, the national question asked of fans of all 30 teams:
Next, the Cubs results.
Confidence in the team was up from 13 percent to 43 percent, though it should be noted that this survey was conducted before the Reds series. That number might be lower now. And Joe Maddon’s approval level matched the “retain him?” results, as that figure was 75 percent in favor.
You can still sign up to have your voice heard in SB Nation’s FanPulse survey. The link to sign up is at the top of this post.