Is Maddux the Favorite to Land the Cubs’ Gig?

By all accounts Mike Maddux’s time with the Cubs went extremely well and he could be the leader in the proverbial clubhouse to become their next manager. Mike Maddux spent Tuesday night and four hours Wednesday morning talking baseball with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Randy Bush. Maddux sounded at ease speaking to the media. Maddux was serious at times while displaying a sense of humor.

Mike Maddux confirmed the report that he spoke with his brother Greg about the Cubs’ organization prior to his interview and did not close the door on his younger brother joining his staff if he gets the job. Most think that Greg Maddux does not want to return to baseball full time due to his own family commitments.

Mike Maddux talked about the importance of his family, which might keep him from leaving Texas and taking the Cubs’ job, if he’s offered the position. Maddux said he enjoyed the interview and when asked about his impression of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, Maddux’s reply … “I can’t do an impression of them.”

Sandy Alomar, Jr. is the last confirmed managerial candidate. Alomar spent Wednesday in Boston and is scheduled to meet with the Cubs’ brass on Friday. Here’s the rest of the update …

Mike Maddux
Here are various quotes from Mike Maddux’s press conference on Wednesday …

On Sabermetrics
“It’s art. You can make some things out of them. But there’s a lot of real stuff to them also. Good numbers don’t lie. Bad numbers can be a little deceptive. You use all the information you can, but when it comes down to it, you gotta trust yourself, trust your players and try to put your players in positions where they can succeed”

What kind of manager would he be?
“A young one! I’d be a guy that would trust his players. I’d be demanding, hold them accountable. That’s the big thing. Hold your players accountable. Send the message, give the message and make sure they adhere to the ground rules. We’re not out there cracking the whip, you gotta walk this way, talk this way. You post your guard rails and let your guys go within the guard rails.”

On Carlos Zambrano
“How would I handle him? I don’t know. The first thing I would do is get to meet him. I heard he’s a big teddy bear. I might just pick him up and burp him. I saw Carlos Zambrano from across the field seven or eight years ago … he was the best thing since sliced bread. He beat you on the mound, he beat you at the plate, he beat you on the field. He could even steal bases. He was the total package. He’s a great competitor, was the best pitcher in the National League.”

On why he thinks the Cubs have not won
“When I was with the opposition, I did everything I could to keep the Cubs from winning. I’ve never been here and analyzed it. I never played for the Cubs, always played against them. I’ve always admired everything – and I despise the song ‘Go Cubs Go’ after they kick our butts. I’ve always admired this town. It’s a unique, very unique set-up, very historic. Whoever becomes the manager of this ballclub is in a good spot.”

On Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer
“Young. Bright folks. Much like what I deal with in my current position. The new age general managers, front office guys, highly educated, very motivated, but very true and very honest and that’s about all you can really ask for is people who are honest, people who share your passion. Even if our educations are far apart, I’m pretty damn proud of my high school education. I went to college, too. Very entertaining. We had a good time together, I think.”

Maddux’s Philosophy
“You really have to hold your players accountable. You send the message, and you have to make sure they adhere to the ground rules. We’re not out there cracking the whip — ‘You have to walk this way, talk this way.’ But you post your guard rails and let your guys go within the guard rails, man. As long as we’re going forward and we’re not going out of bounds, we’re OK.”

Click Here for Video Excerpts from the Mike Maddux Interview

News, Notes and Rumors
Mike Quade broke his silence on Wednesday and spoke with ESPN 1000 and XM Radio. Quade is a candidate to manage the Twins’ Triple-A team. Quade told both Waddle and Silvy and XM Radio that he doesn’t believe his fate was sealed by the roster he was given to work with last season. Click here for the full report from ESPN Chicago and a Podcast of his interview on ESPN 1000.

Ryne Sandberg interviewed for the Cardinals’ managerial position on Wednesday. Sandberg said he was comfortable with the interview and felt it went good.

According to a tweet from Tom Haudricourt, the Brewers have asked the Red Sox for an extension to speak with Dale Sveum about their managerial position.

According to multiple reports, there has not been any progress made in the compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox over Theo Epstein. Ben Cherington said Wednesday that he is hoping the two sides could hash out a deal during the GM Meetings next week. According to a report from ESPN Boston, Cherington and Epstein have exchanged some ideas and they’ve been given leeway by the commissioner’s office because progress is being made.

The latest speculation has the Cubs naming their next manager at some point next week. The General Manager Meetings (November 14 – November 15) and Owner Meetings (November 15 – November 16) take place in Milwaukee next week. Those meetings typically lay the groundwork for deals that take place during the Winter Meetings. Team Epstein has a lot of work to do and delaying naming a manager much past next week will put them further behind.

Next Friday (November 18) is the deadline for clubs to file their reserve lists for the Major League club and all Minor League levels to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently sits at 33 players.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • Tony_Hall

    Mike Maddux is the the front runner, and was going to need to make a mistake to not stay as the guy.  What did he do…he knocked it out of the park, which is pretty impressive as a pitcher.

    I love a few of his lines.

    His philosophy is perfect.  “But you post your guard rails and let your guys go within the guard rails, man. As long as we’re going forward and we’re not going out of bounds, we’re OK.”    Treat your players like men, and let them know their boundaries, and when they go beyond their boundaries, you let them know.

    • cubtex

      I get the impression that Maddux is not 100% commited to even taking the job even if offered. Have you seen some of his quotes? He just moved his family from Vegas to Dallas. He loves it in Texas and has a great relationship with Ron Washington. He bypassed the Red Sox and said he is flattered to even be considered. It is much easier to be relaxed in an interview when you are not pressing for the job. One other thought……How many pitchers have made great managers? Bud Black? And they collapsed big time a couple of years ago. I would much rather see Sandy Alomar get this job than Maddux. Ron Washington made some horrible decisions during the WS and did Maddux go along with those decisions? I don’t know the answer…..but I wonder about Maddux’s game day knowledge. We don’t have the Rangers high powered offense when you wait for Cruz,Beltre,Napoli or others to hit a bomb and bail the team out.

      • Tony_Hall

        Or one extremely smart guy, who is playing hard to get.

        I am waiting until alomar interviews to decide my pick.

        • cubtex

          Even though Maddux had been a major league pitching coach….Is he more qualified than someone who has managed in the minors? At least if he was a base or bench coach….I would feel as if he is at least more of a student of the game. I would much rather have a Sandy Alomar IMO

          • paulcatanese

            You Texans are all alike, you get a good one and you dont want to let go.
            Could be worse, he could have been a third baseman.:)

          • cubtex

            I am just questioning the fact of how does anyone know how Maddux will run a game? Sure…he can probably run a pitching staff but does he know when to lift a pitcher for a pinch hitter. Does he know when to hit and run…bunt….etc.  I don’t know where all this confidence comes that this is the right hire?

          • paulcatanese

            Just trying to put you on, I really dont care which one gets the job. But one thing, I would not like to see brothers on the same staff, whether its the Maddux or Alomar bros.

            If I were Maddux and has it good where he is at, why change anyway? He is one of the top pitching coach’s along with Duncan, and if wanted,both will be employed a lot longer than managers.

            Plus, I think catchers make the best managers.

          • Boots

            Anyone know if they did the game simulation like they did with the others? 

          • studio179

            They said everyone would go through the same process. 

          • Jim_Tinley_Park

            Yes, they did a simulation and Mark Prior was the starting pitcher.

          • Tom U

            That’s a towel drill

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Boots, yes Maddux went through the same process with game simulations.

          • John_CC

            That doesn’t make much sense…explain how one MLB coach is more a “student of the game” than another, i.e. a first base coach vs. a pitching coach.  The pitching coach isn’t watching the game as closely?  Doesn’t watch the same game?  That is insane.

          • cubtex

            John…it is not insane. Have you ever been to spring training or seen how pitchers prepare compared to everyday players? They are separated from a lot of day to day drills and fundamentals. The pitching coach is involved with working with the starters and relievers( one very small part of the game) Do you honestly think a pitching coach is as aware as when to hit and run or steal a base as other coaches?

          • mDix

            It’s not like pitchers are oblivious as to when they are in a hit and run situation. How does it make a difference if he was a pitching coach, hitting coach, or bench coach? The fact of the matter is after 20+ years as a player/coach he as just as aware as anyone else on the staff….how is a pitcher of 15 years not aware of what a hit and run situation is? 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            Cubtex… As with any sports Manager/ Head Coach, they will surround themselves with a “team” of coaches that will help with all aspects of the game.  Maddux will find the right mix of assistants that can take care of the areas where he himself might be lacking.  Put your trust in Theo, and let everything work itself out.  I’m sure he wouldn’t hire someone he thought couldn’t perform as a manager.

          • John_CC

            Yes, I think a former MLB pitcher and veteran pitching coach is quite well aware of when to hit and run. 

            Are you serious?  You think a pitcher wouldn’t have a pretty good idea of hit and run situation?  That is really silly, I’m sorry to sound demeaning, but come on man, it is a pitcher. They have to watch every aspect of the game and know every hitters strength and weakness. They know which guys run and which make contact. They know every guy’s defensive strength and weakness.

            I just don’t buy it. I have watched ST practices. And they are nothing like an MLB game.

          • Tony_Hall

            I get your point (Sandberg managed in the minors).  And I still have no problem with that thought process, that to be a major league manager, you need to have coached at the major league level.  Bench coach preferred, but a pitching coach is right there, as far as game strategy.

            I said very early on, that I like catchers for managers, I am looking forward to hearing how tomorrow goes.  

            If Mike is as smart as Greg, than we will be in good shape if he is our manager. 

          • cubtex

            Yes Tony but it is not just about Sandberg. I would feel more confident hiring a guy who has managed before or at least been a bench coach. Maddux hasn’t even been in the NL for the last couple of years. You need to use a bench much more wisely in the NL with double switches, pinch hitters etc. I would prefer someone who has made these decisions on their ‘own” before instead of observing Ron Washington.

          • Tony_Hall

            Tomorrow, you may get your wish.  I really think Sandy Alomar will knock it out of the park, and being a former catcher and bench coach, he is the perfect candidate, based on my criteria.

            Now, if he can do as well as Maddux did, I think he could be the one to get offered the job.  Even though, I say Maddux is the leader in the clubhouse, I have been thinking Alomar would be my favorite, but have been trying to wait until all have interviewed to decide.

      • studio179

        “One other thought……How many pitchers have made great managers? Bud Black?”
        Farrell seems respected, though not much of a sample size. Lasorda comes to mind. Even mentioned by Maddux in his media conference.

        As far as the World Series, Washington did make mistakes…as did LaRussa. No one is going to question Duncan’s abilities as a pitching coach. I agree Maddux did not seem 100% he would accept. 

        I am interested to see how Alomar does Friday. He comes from a good baseball family, is regarded as a bright baseball mind and has the bi-lingual ability to communicate with Latin players. That said, I will wait and see and trust the Cubs new front office. But I think the Cubs would be in good shape with either Maddux or Alomar.  

        • cubtex

          Thank you. If you have to pull out Tommy Lasorda because there is noone else….you are proving my point

          • studio179

            It is proven that catchers and middle infielders make the best managers. I am not debating that point. The same worries you have for Maddux should be applied to Alomar Jr., too. How do we know he can be an effective manager in the bigs? I think he can and will, but just trying to say the same concerns should apply during the interview process. I will wait until Alomar Jr interviews to decide. We have to trust Theo, Jed & Co.  

  • Tony_Hall

    Sandy Alomar is next, and I believe he can wow them, and make this a tough decision. I really don’t believe Demarco Hale or Pete Mackanin have a chance and Tim Bogar seems like an afterthought at this point.

    My order for manager

    1) Mike Maddux
    2) Sandy Alomar Jr
    3) Dale Sveum
    4) Tim Bogar (darkhorse)

    eliminated – Pete Mackanin, Demarco Hale (courtesy interview)

    • paulcatanese

      Tony, I like all four of them, and think I would be happy with anyone of them. I just wish it would get done and they could get on with the rest of it.

  • cmschube

    “Maddux sounded at ease speaking to the media. Maddux was serious at times while displaying a sense of humor.”

    Runs in the family!

    • Redlarczykg

      Mike will need a great sense of humor if he manages the current Cub lineup!  Hopefully Theo and Co. can make the team less humorous on the field.

      Come to think of it, his brother Greg had some funny ideas about DeWitt abilites. 

  • John_CC

    I really like his managerial philosophy. A lot.  What a concept, player accountability. Aramis is glad he’s gone. Soriano is shaking in his sandals about now.

    • gocubs

      What exactly do you mean by “Aramis is glad he’s gone. Soriano is shaking in his sandals about now?”  By all accounts both of those guys have bean team leaders in the clubhouse, played through injury, and have been 2 of the Cubs most productive players the last number of years.  What exactly is it that they do that makes then unaccountable? 

      • Last_ginger

        Lack of hustle stands out

      • paulcatanese

        While I think Soriono’s problems are two fold 1. he is not a good outfielder, but number two enters into that, his legs are just about gone, have said this before, and that attributes to people not liking him, but its not from lack of hustle, just physical (my opinion).I like him. 2. His contract, but that would show up and will with Pujols as well later. Yes I think he is worried about being moved.

        Aram, well if you call a half of a year productive each and every year the last few,,well, I dont think he was productive and his fieldung has dropped off dramaticly as well, and shows not indication of improvement. As for a clubhouse leader, I know nothing about that. But as far as him not being held accountable, I totally agree, as he continued to play until he started to produce, in the second half of the season, not acceptable.

      • Winlancer1

        Umm lemme see a general laziness on defense. The lack of passion or drive the beginning of the year (heck all he veteran’s were lazy?). A “I’m collecting a paycheck mentality. If you noticed he only started laying good and applying himself after the second half as this was his contract year. As good as he played the 2nd half, his work ethic and “lack of hustle” is a glaring weakness on his work ethic and character. Also I would never say Aramis was a leader of the clubhouse at all. He was a good player but definitely not a leader. Dempster, to me was the team leader trying to save the ship. The Cubs last year really had no manager.

  • jw

    I am in if Greg is a part of the deal

  • Chuck

    “Let’s go Madd in O-twelve”

  • studio179

    I think Maddux is the favorite. Alomar Jr. is next and I will be interested to see how he does as well. I believe it comes down to those two. 

    • John G

      Then Alomar Jr. can hire his brother Roberto to the coaching staff for the sole purpose of going out to argue with umpires. Should add some spit and polish to the organization.

      • studio179

        There you go. Maybe we will get the Maddux brothers or the Alomar brothers. 

  • Brp921

    Sandberg was my choice. Now that he’s out of the picture I am just going to sit back and wait to see who is hired. I hope they hit a homerun with their choice and get this team turned around. Looking forward to a new era.

  • John_CC

    That would one big one.  Not running out of the box and making singles out of balls hit against the wall (Soriano), not hustling in the field – Soriano get’s a little break here because he is just a bad outfielder but Aramis was a dog at 3B this year.

    • John_CC

      that was a response to above comment about lack of hustle from Soriano and Aramis.

      • Boots

        How about also just a general lack of fitness and commitment to working out in the offseason? 

        I don’t have direct evidence to support this, but Aramis seemed lazy and disinterested in offseason preparation. Coming in ready to work is big, and I don’t recall either of them ever really being applauded for their work ethic.

        • paulcatanese

          While I agree with you on Aram,(never came in ready)and thats a big reason he did not produce till the second half, took him that long to play himself into shape. On the other side Soriono has worked hard to try and become a better outfielder, just didnt have the talent. But has showed a little improvement, not nearly enough though.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL (11/10): Junior Lake (3B): 1-for-5, R; Josh Vitters (1B): 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, SF; DJ LeMahieu (DH): 1-for-5, 2B, 2RBI, R

    • Mac

      Neil,

      I want Zambrano + 80% of what he is owed to the Marlins for Logan Morrison so he can play first. Can u pull some strings and make that happen?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Wish I could, that would be a good deal for the Cubs.

      • daverj

        A team might take Z plus 80% of what he is owed, but they won’t deal any players of value in return for that package.  The Marlins say they won’t deal Morrison, but I think they’d deal him if a legitimate #2 starter came along (or a #1 starter like Shields for Morrison plus a couple prospects).

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Why not shift Zambrano to a position on the field?  I know it’s unprecedented with a player at his age and level, but really…why not?  He’s an athlete and proven to be a great hitter.  If he focused full-time?  Who knows.  I’ve seen the guy in the box against good pitchers and seen him absolutely locked in on pitch after pitch.  Foul back 5 or 6 until he rips a double.  The guy can hit!  And when he cares about something he’s a real competitor with high effort…

      • Winlancer1

        I would go for that deal in a Heartbeat. Logan has great upside, good defense, great hitting, but still needs a little mental work. On top of that his work ethic and honesty are outstanding. It’s just to bad that he plays for the worse owner in all of pro sports. One that hated his honesty soo much that he vindictively demoted him to the minors for a month. Good trade idea but the douche owner wants to screw over and imprison Logan until his contract runs out. As soon as it does though rest assured Logan will run the heck out of the “Miami” marlins ASAP. Just like every other good player in the past.

  • Tony_Hall
  • BosephHeyden

    So…theoretical question, but with his old pitching coach as our manager and one of his best buds as a vocal Cubs fans, how much does our chance to get CJ Wilson improve by?  Granted, he’s not a huge part of the puzzle (though he might as well have been the Rangers’ ace last year, so he’d fill our ace spot in the rotation…and a rotation of Wilson, Garza, Dempster, and some combination of Wells, Cashner, Coleman, and maybe Zambrano does not hurt my feelings any), but getting a young, big name free agent at a position that we do kinda need does give us a pretty good building block to improve upon.

    • paulcatanese

      You know I have a bunch of those types of questions (theoretical) and  cannot bring myself to put them in writing as I dont have a clue who will be here next year and who will not, and its frustrating. But you are right in thinking the Cubs need pitching, and guess we all will have to wait.

    • daverj

      I don’t think it changes at all … with or without Maddux, I can’t see the Cubs in on Wilson.

    • mDix

      Just the thought of the Cubs paying FA$ to Wilson makes me cringe. Epstein and the boys paying a converted reliever who just had a career year as a starter (in a contract year no less) would just prove to me that nothing has changed on the North Side. 

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Get an economical inning eater.  Buerhle…

  • Anonymous47701

    Possible Trade Ideas?

    2B/3B/OF Martin Prado
    for 3B Josh Vitters, OF Tyler Colvin

    LHP John Danks
    for RHP Jay Jackson, 1B Justin Bour

    LHP Blaine Hardy
    for RHP Carlos Zambrano + Cash

    1B Lars Anderson
    for INF Jeff Baker

    OF Logan Morrison
    for 1B/OF Rebel Ridling

    • cubtex

      Do you honestly think any of these teams would make those trades? This most ridiculous one you have out there is John Danks for Jay Jackson and Justin Bour? Cmon at least take the Sox out for dinner before you scr## them. And Logan Morrison for Rebel Ridling? Yea…that’s fair

      • Anonymous47701

        Do you have a better idea?

        • daverj

          Yes, be patient for the next couple years while Epstein and Hoyer build a farm system that contains players other teams want.  All the deals above are steals for the Cubs … the other teams wouldn’t consider them.

    • Jay from sandwich

      Apparently you do not think much of the cubs young talent to the point you want trade them all. The Jeff baker trade make spence because Boston wants him but we need to ginve more for their first basemen like a Parker or something. I will not be surprise if baker ends up in Boston as part of the theo compsnsation packer

  • EqDoc

    This is such a great statement from Hoyer:

     Hoyer on the possibility of the team eating existing contracts: “Our experience so far with the Ricketts family is they are so committed to winning the right way that if it means playing younger players to get experience, they are certainly willing to do that. They know from our track record that you have to win through the farm system. That, in order to win, you have to win through younger players. I think that’s one of the reasons they brought Theo here.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/

  • paulcatanese

    Everyone is chomping at the bit here, and hope the right manager is picked.
    All of the ones on the list seem very good and qualified. But looking good to
    us is kind of a misnomer. Consider what the Cubs have had for a manager the last year and one can tell why everyone thinks these guys are great. In reallity the batboy interviewing for the job would look good after Quade.
    No-one will really have any idea the direction the Cubs are going until spring training is over in 2012 and the season starts. I couldnt even imagine what or who the Cubs will field next year. Half (including minors prospects) may be gone and indeed one will need a scorecard to tell the players.

    Intense insight by Cub fans will be needed to follow all of this as it seems like a whirlwind has hit Chicago, and what looks like slow movement is really speeding by very quickly. Even the new manager will be mystified as to who he will have to direct on the diamond. I am holding on to my seat and waiting, and that is the hard part, trying to figure what comes next.

  • Jason Douglas

    Maddux would be good…I like his attitude, and a better chance his brother Greg sticks around.  But I would be happy with Francona too.

    • Winlancer21

      Yeah he’s my favorite as his philosophy and style are great. Also he has a proven track record of success. 2 straight WS appearances in the MLB are virtually unheard of (unless you spend your way in al la Yankees). He has a nice mix of experience and passion for the game that was sorely lacking last year. Who cares if he’s a pitching coach, as long as he’s not another wet-behind-the-ears minor league manager. No more on the job training Cubs managers please. Mackanin looks too green and eager, something about Alomar to me screams emotional disaster, Sveum looked good but Boston is locking him up, Francona hell to the no and is my definition of insane (trying to do the same thing twice and hoping for a different result), the myth of Sandburg may be better then the reality (he needs more major experience).
      Something in my gut screams Maddux is the guy and it’s never served me wrong yet. Milton Bradley being a glaring example of a signing I despised on day one. Next would be Sveum, Mackanin, and then Alomar.