Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses a report his job could be in jeopardy on Aug. 28, 2018: "It's very uninteresting to me." (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)
Joe Maddon has orchestrated the Cubs to the best record in the National League without two-fifths of his starting rotation, slugger Kris Bryant and closer Brandon Morrow.
Despite that, Maddon was hit Tuesday with a report that his job as Cubs manager could be in jeopardy if they don’t advance far in the playoffs.
“I don’t get it,” said Maddon, who is signed through 2019 and received a $1 million annual raise to $6 million after winning the 2016 World Series. “I don’t understand it. Really, it’s very uninteresting to me. I’m under contract. I’m very happy with what I’m doing. When the time is appropriate, I’m sure we’ll discuss it further, but I really don’t understand that.”
Maddon emphasized he would like to remain as Cubs manager past 2019.
“Of course I want to come back, but it doesn’t matter to me when it’s resolved,” Maddon said. “” mean that sincerely. I’m not concerned with that kind of stuff.
“When you work in a situation like here with the quality people that we work with, you rely on them to make that decision and when is the appropriate time.”
The timing of the story seemed baffling to Maddon, as the Cubs are in the midst of a six-game winning streak with veterans Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo praising their manager for conducting the annual “American Legion Week,” in which players are encouraged to arrive to Wrigley Field later than usual to preserve their strength during the midst of a 23-game stretch without a scheduled day off.
“A lot of times when people show up sporadically, they might get a different take on things,” Maddon said. “You’re here all the time and know exactly what’s going. Therein lies the difference.”
Maddon has guided the Cubs to the National League Championship Series in each of his first three seasons, but he expressed his displeasure with the story about his job status on his weekly radio segment on WSCR-AM 670.
“Any time I have to worry about what Bob Nightengale writes or what anybody else writes, then I should just pretty much hang things up anyway,” Maddon said. “It means nothing. That is actually dumb. It's hard to comment on something. A lot of times these guys write things in order to get a reaction, and they're looking to further this or get hits online, whatever you want to call it. I know Bob really well. I have no idea why he would write something like that, but it really doesn't impact me whatsoever. It's just something to write, and I can't really be concerned about it.”
Maddon was agitated by a passage that cited anonymous baseball executives who believed Maddon's "fate is tenuous" if the Cubs fade late.
“Everything that's reported is really superficial,” Maddon said. “Just like the article by Bob Nightengale that's being validated by a bunch of non-confirmed sources. These are the kinds of things I don't understand. When you read the papers, when you read things today and you get unsubstantiated reports or non-vetted reports and it's just somebody's conjecture based on attempting to make – I don't even know – just to write something or say something, it's a bad method. Because baseball fans need to know what's going on and how it's going on as opposed to this superficial nature that's being reported.”