Mad(don) Men Get Their Man
Who knew such clean-cut guys could get so down and dirty? Has Don Draper been whispering sweet nothings to the members of the Cubs brass?
It certainly appears as though the Cubs have themselves a pair of cold-blooded Brooks Brothers.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer may have been a little underhanded, if you believe certain reports, and most certainly pulled no punches in their pursuit of a championship.
That is just fine with me, even if some in baseball are a little peeved at the Cubs and their newest Manager.
Am I happy a good baseball man like Rick Renteria got embarrassed and terminated in the process? Not at all. However, the high-powered businessman profile the Cubs front office strikes is, in fact, exactly what they are in reality.
Let’s face it, Renteria was an underwhelming hire at the time. He did accomplish the one major goal set out for him, reclaiming two major components of the Cubs rebuilding process in Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.
Still, I was not alone in my inability to fully envision Renteria as the guy who would be raising the desired World Series trophy at the completion of this plan.
Renteria always, fair or not, appeared to be a Point B guy here. He likely would have gotten the opportunity to manage for another year or so until the right Point C guy became available. It just so happens that guy, Joe Maddon, became available now.
How he became available, however, is being debated. Despite Esptein’s epic, meticulous press release, some wonder in fact if the Cubs helped lure Maddon away from Tampa. If the Cubs indeed did stick their hands in the Rays cookie jar, count me among those who dig it. Epstein was willing to do whatever it took to get this guy, I like it.
I also get the sense Epstein was always intrigued by the skipper who finished second in his first managerial derby in Boston, that went to Terry Francona. Don’t get me wrong, Francona won and won big for Epstein and the Red Sox. But Maddon has become somewhat of a players and media darling, while being a shrewd tactician to boot.
It is really too good to be true. If you had given me the chance to hand-pick a GM and skipper for this organization back when Jim Hendry was shown the door, these two would be at the top of the list.
Maddon just checks all the right boxes. Furthermore, he is likely the right guy with the right temperament to finally handle this media market and the baggage that comes with this gig.
Maddon appears to have the sense of humor and humility that it will take to guide this outfit to its first championship since 1908.
Just glad the Cubs could steal him away, I mean, bring this guy to Chicago.