News broke just before Game 7 that the Cubs had hired — or were about to hire — Joe Maddon as their manager. Then everything seemed to back off a bit. “Details were still being worked on,” and since then we’ve had more or less radio silence. The general consensus from reporters who tend to be right about this stuff is that it’s happening, but that there was hesitancy to announce it or have it confirmed on the day of Game 7.
Or, perhaps, because there is some P.R. and fence-mending to do beforehand. Because, as Andy Martino reports, some people in and around the game are not at all pleased at Maddon going to the Cubs when the Cubs, at the moment, have a manager in Rick Renteria. Maddon is being viewed as going after Renteria’s job and, in the fraternity of managers and baseball men, that is considered bad form.
Amid widespread expectation in the industry that Maddon will be named Cubs manager, and conflicting reports about whether the hire has already happened, lifers were saying that the mere possibility did not look good. Maddon is well-liked, and his competitors are hoping that the full details, when they emerge, will prove more flattering. For now, the fraternity is displeased.
“The whole industry is talking about what a classless act (this is),” said one high-ranking major league executive.
I’m not sure if this is a classless act for Maddon as much as it is bad form by the Cubs in not dealing with Renteria somehow first, but I suppose that’s quibbling and that it takes two to tango. I also suspect that the delay in naming Maddon manager is about the Cubs, realizing that this all got out before they wanted it to in a way they didn’t want to, engaging in some sort of damage control. Be it offering Renteria a job elsewhere in the organization, looking to sweeten a buyout offer or otherwise trying to make it so that this is not perceived the same way a dude dumping his wife for some hot new thing is perceived.