Imrem: Maddon the kind of manager Chicago loves
Maddon the kind of manager Chicago loves
Joe Maddon has reached the point where Cub fans either really like him or really like to dislike him and some of his decisions.
If you consider the Cubs manager to be one of baseball's best, the positive is he's going to be around for a while.
If you consider Maddon to be a dummy who makes a lot of questionable decisions, the positive is you'll have plenty of time to keep kicking him around.
Of course, we're talking about his career. In any given game, well, he might not be around long.
Maddon was ejected Wednesday night from Game 4 of the NLCS in Wrigley Field against the Dodgers.
It was the second time Maddon was thrown out of a game in this series, which is hard to do in this era of challenges and reviews.
And who doesn't love a good umpire-manager argument?
"There is no way I'm not getting ejected at that point," Maddon said. "I've got to make my point."
Maddon gets another chance to be launched tonight after the Cubs beat the Dodgers 3-2 to keep from being eliminated from the series.
Other than being asked to leave by umpires, Maddon isn't going anywhere.
At some point Maddon and his bosses will decide to split but history says it won't happen anytime soon.
The Bears won the Super Bowl in Mike Ditka's fourth season and he lasted seven more; the Bulls won the NBA title in Phil Jackson's second season and he lasted nine more; the White Sox won the World Series in Ozzie Guillen's second season and he lasted six more; the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in Joel Quenneville's second season and he's still here eight seasons later.
The Cubs won the World Series in Maddon's second season and his looming longevity renders the criticism of him to be like an intramural exercise among family members.
Maddon said of second-guessing. "The moment I start worrying about that, I really need to retire."
No plans for that, thank goodness. Maddon has the textured personality to be a Chicago kind of coach or manager.
Last week a headline over a photo on USAToday.com read, "Exhausted Joe Maddon rolls into news conference looking like a 1980s alt-rock superstar."
Maddon reached L.A. for the League Championship Series with hair unkempt and face unshaven, both pretty much as usual. He wore shades and a jeans jacket.
My generation might say Maddon looked more like he was on a reunion tour with his 1960s British invasion band.
For some reason, Maddon colors his hair darker to look younger when he would be cooler looking like an old dude with a young mind.
At 63 years of age, Maddon is like the grandfather he is, but not the grandfather yours is.
A baseball manager or football, basketball or hockey coach isn't quite as appealing in Chicago if he isn't different.
Ditka was outrageous as Da Coach. Jackson was odd as the Zen Master. Guillen was inflammatory as the Ozzinator. Only Quenneville's three championships with the Hawks make his blandness embraceable.
Joe Maddon isn't bland as a manager or as a man eligible for many senior discounts.
Maddon was second-guessed even as the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. He was second-guessed as they won the 2017 NLDS.
That's two strikes but he won't be called out for a while and he figures to make every minute of his time with the Cubs quirkily interesting.