Joe Maddon on end of Cubs tenure: ‘I didn't want to be back either'


Joe Maddon's future with the Cubs hung in the balance throughout 2019. Despite postseason appearances in four-straight seasons (2015-18), he entered the season with lame duck status after Cubs president Theo Epstein shut down extension talks last fall.

If that wasn't telling enough, the Cubs underperformed throughout 2019, slipping out of a postseason spot in late September. On the last day of the regular season, Cubs president Theo Epstein made it official: the organization was not retaining Maddon for 2020.

The move didn't blindside Maddon, however. In a recent interview, he noted that it was obvious he wouldn't be retained, but also that he didn't want to return, anyhow.

"When it got down to the last couple days it was really obvious to both sides," Maddon said to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "I didn’t want to be back either. It was more of a bilateral than a unilateral decision.’’

Well, damn. You can't blame Maddon for seeking a new challenge for 2020 and beyond. After all, he had a ton of success with the Cubs but was asked to adjust his managerial style in 2019. While change is good, there are plenty of teams (see: Los Angeles Angels) that would take him as is. 

Still, Maddon's split from the Cubs was amicable, and Epstein said the two agreed the change was a win-win. He wasn't unemployed long, landing a three-year deal with a fourth-year option to manage the Angels, where he previously spent 31 years of his baseball career. The Cubs got their man, too, naming David Ross as Maddon's successor after a year's worth of speculation.

Maddon wants Ross to do well, and if his pipe dream comes true, he'll get to face Ross and the Cubs in the World Series in the not-so-distant future.

"I do want to play them in a World Series, because it would mean both sides are successful," Maddon said to Topkin. "And I want us to win the last game, which I think is only appropriate. … I love David, I think he’s going to do a great job actually, and I love a lot of the players there. I’ve got more thought- provoking, tear-provoking outreach from some (Cubs players) at the end of this season than I’ve ever gotten before.’’

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.
Contact Us