There’s still no official announcement about Joe Maddon becoming the Cubs’ new manager, but in the meantime the Cubs just announced the firing of their current manager, Rick Renteria.
Renteria was hired last offseason–less than 365 days ago, in fact–and went 73-89 in his first and only year on the job. He had two seasons remaining on his contract, so while Renteria is no doubt very unhappy with how things worked out in Chicago he’ll at least be getting paid not to manage the Cubs for a while. He was reportedly offered another role within the organization and said no thanks. Tough to blame him, obviously.
As for Maddon … well, when news first broke about his coming to Chicago it sure seemed like MLB scolded the Cubs for letting that get out during the World Series. Which led to quotes from Maddon’s agent and “Cubs sources” saying it wasn’t a done deal. Hopefully we can all do away with that charade shortly.
UPDATE: The Cubs just put out a lengthy press release explaining the situation from their point of view and, to me at least, being about as transparent as possible under the circumstances. You should read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:
Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.
Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon – who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us – had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.
While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.