Joe Maddon Roars

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Well, this is turning out to be an interesting week in the Windy City, doncha think? From new skipper Joe Maddon’s highly charged and optimistic press conference, to rumblings about Cole Hammel, Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, ah hell, pick your free agent pitcher and chances are the Cubs name has been attached to it.

First, let me set the record straight. I’m still a little bitter that Ricky was sent packing, but I fully understand that baseball is a business that requires a general manager to make the necessary decisions for a team to move forward. Or as Theo Epstein so eloquently put it:

“As a person, I didn’t want to do it,” Epstein said of dismissing Renteria. “I don’t want to ever be unfair to someone else. As an executive and someone in charge of winning a World Series here, I had no choice but to do it. It was clearly the right move for the Cubs. I wouldn’t be doing my job if we didn’t do make that decision.”

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I like Joe Maddon. I like him a lot. He’s personable, engaging, witty,” 60 is the new forty” and thoughtful. C’mon, he bought a round of drinks at the Cubby Bear.

He’s also confident and rightfully so.

“I’m going to be talking playoffs next year,” Maddon said. “I’ll tell you that right now. I can’t go to Spring Training saying any other thing. Why would you report? It’s all about setting your standards, your goals high, because if you don’t, you might actually hit them, and that’s not a good thing. We’re going to set our standards high, absolutely. I’m going to talk playoffs, I’m going to talk World Series this year. I promise you. I am, and I’m going to believe it.”

Sure, he said all the “right” things in the press conference, but I challenge any other arm chair manager to do differently.

The Cubs need to be positive. With a manager like Joe Maddon, is there any other way?

So, who should the Cubs go after during the off season? I wouldn’t mind seeing Max Scherzer in the rotation. He would be a valuable asset to a young pitching squad. I also have a funny feeling that there’s a big year ahead for Kyle Hendricks.

What do you think?

Believe it.

—Mark

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