With the Joe Maddon to the Cubs announcement due any time now, there is still some (not a lot, granted) hand-wringing about what this move says about the Cubs management. Sure, they are spending big to hire the best manager they can get, but in the process they are kicking out their current manager after one not-terrible (but hardly inspiring) season.
Truth is, they’re doing Rick(y) Renteria a big assed favor.
Since the news broke last Friday that former Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon had opted out of his contract, the Cubs have been intriguingly silent about the job status of their manager Rick(y) Renteria. Ricky has not been, however. He issued a statement through his agent on Monday saying he’s excited about still being the Cubs manager.
Through a highly placed source (OK, it was Todd) we have obtained transcripts of the increasingly panicked phone calls Ricky has left for Cubs VP of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein.
On Friday, it seemed like another blow (in a bad way) to the crotch of the Cubs plans to dominate the National League for a decade or two. Just days after Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Raymonds for SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR to vice president and generally manage the Dodgers, the Rays manager, Joe Maddon opted out of his contract. Surely he was going to go to the Dodgers, too, which meant the two things keeping the rest of the league from being crushed under billions of dollars of Dodgers clout (Ned Colletti and Don Mattingly) would be gone, and replaced by one of the best front office minds, and the very best manager.
But then the Dodgers announced they weren’t going to dump Don anytime soon.
This October has been different. At least it feels different. Maybe it’s because I have returned to the land of my birth from a short exile into the wilds of northern Michigan, maybe it’s because nothing in baseball seems to make any sense. The past few postseasons it was hard not to watch the teams advancing from round to round and marvel at just how far away the Cubs seemed from competing with any of them. Maybe it’s because two gloriously flawed teams have clawed their way to the World Series, but anything seems possible now.
Even the impossible. Like the Cubs getting in on some of this.
It’s that time of year again. Cubs season ticket holders got their annual love letter from Tom Ricketts, where he thanks them for supporting them through thin and thin and reminds them that things won’t always this be this bad and asks them if they need help finding their checkbooks.
It’s a tradition unlike any other. It seems like every fall baseball gets ruined for me. I love baseball, it’s my favorite sport. I think it would have to be for me to devote as much time as I do to the Cubs. But for going on 15 years now I just don’t watch any playoff games involving the St. Louis Cardinals. When I say I don’t watch them, I mean just that. I don’t watch the games. I’ll watch any other playoff game. The Rockies-Diamondbacks? Nobody cared, but I watched.
I realize I’ve missed some pretty famous things. The Red Sox apparently won a World Series in 2004 and last year. I guess they did. I saw them win in 2007, so I know they did that.