Rick Renteria had one season with the Chicago Cubs, and apparently that is all he will have as manager. The Cubs are reportedly close to hiring Joe Maddon to be the new manager of the young team.
If you are a Cubs fan, now is the time to start getting excited.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 31, 2014
In his nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon showed he was one of the best in the game when it came to developing a young and inexperienced roster. From the way he ran his clubhouse to the maneuvering of rosters, Maddon excelled at youth. And as the Rays became full of more veterans than youth, it became obvious to Maddon that there was an opportunity elsewhere.
Once Maddon left Tampa, the Cubs were right on his tail. The country has not seen infatuation turn to love this quickly since Brad Pitt met Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Joining the Cubs, Maddon will once again get to do what he does best – mold young talent. Like he did with David Price, Evan Longoria, BJ Upton and more, Maddon will have the opportunity to steer the young core of the Cubs organization towards winning ways.
Maddon gives the Cubs front office exactly what it has been searching for as they gain a coach capable of cultivating young talent as well as a coach who has enough pedigree to excite the fanbase.
What this hiring will tell the world is that the Cubs are closer than we think. The organization wouldn’t be bringing Maddon on for a project that was five years away from competing. What the Cubs showed the world of baseball last year was that they were on the brink of something special, and something that would last a long time thanks to their never-ending supply of young talent coming through the pipeline.
For Maddon, that talent is a dream come true. Though that is exactly what he was given when he took over with the Rays, the Tampa Bay farm system eventually began to falter. No longer was Maddon able to rely upon the cultivation of upcoming young talent, instead he was working with a roster that continued to age.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Maddon and Chicago team will be the fact that not only do the Cubs have a great farm system, but they have owners (and a market) that will allow them to pay the money necessary to keep that talent around for the future. In Tampa, Maddon saw players like Carl Crawford, Upton, Price and others leave the team via trade or free agency simply because the Rays were unable to pay their ballooning salaries.
That will absolutely not be the case in Chicago.
Not only will Maddon be able to lock up his young stars, but his front office will also go out and spend the money to acquire the veteran talent needed to help his team excel (I’m looking at you, Jon Lester). A front office with money is something that Maddon is not accustomed to as a manager.
Gone will be the days of signing James Looney-type players because they are cheap.
Gone are the days of watching the talent he cultivated leave only to be successful elsewhere.
For Maddon and the Cubs, this is a match made in heaven. And for Cubs fans, the excitement is just beginning of something special. There is optimism surrounding the Cubs, and for the first time in decades, it isn’t misplaced optimism. Theo Epstein and the organization have been building the team the correct way – from the bottom up. Maddon was the last piece of the puzzle.
This is the start of a new era of baseball in the Windy City and Joe Maddon will lead the way.
Cover Photo: sonsofsamhorn.com
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