Joe Maddon was interviewed by the Cubs in his R.V., buys everyone “a shot and a beer”


Joe Maddon’s introductory presser was fun. Maddon seems to be powered by energy, enthusiasm and approximately ten cases of Red Bull as he talks about his philosophy and optimism for the job. Among the notable points:

  • The press conference was held in a bar near Wrigley Field. And, for real, he offered to buy everyone a round. Specifically, “a shot AND a beer.” Watch:

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  • OK, being fair, it appears as though Theo Epstein said the Cubs were picking that up.
  • Maddon mentioned that he took the job interview in his RV in Pensacola. He said the conversation went well, except that “Jed needed to get a coat.” He also mentioned that beers were shared. Which makes his job interview better than any interview you or I have ever had.
  • Maddon was asked by a reporter “Do you know what the HELL you’ve gotten yourself into?” Which, OK, thanks for letting us know you know Chicago Cubs history. For his part, Maddon seemed to refuse to buy in to the notion that the Cubs are cursed or anything like that. Later, in response to another question, he said that his baseball motto is “Don’t let the pressure of the moment outweigh the pleasure.” I imagine some will constantly remind Maddon that the Cubs haven’t won forever and ever and everything, but I doubt Maddon will care that much.
  • He didn’t button his jersey when he stood up for the usual introductory shot. And his collar as sort of half sticking out. It’s like Jeff Spicoli has taken over the Cubs. I think Spicoli would only be in his early 50s now, not 60 like Maddon is, but close enough.
  • He used the word “synergy” and the word “philosophy” around 200 times. And he talked at about 100 m.p.h.
  • As far as expectations, he said that he wasn’t sure when the Cubs would win but that, as a manager, he also said “I’m gonna be talking playoffs in spring training . . . Otherwise, why go?”
  • When asked by a Baseball Prospectus reporter about his use of advanced analytics, he made mention of the card he keeps in his back pocket during games which is “dripping with analytics.” Sexy. Expect no less than three of the teams in your fantasy league to be named “Dripping with Analytics” next spring.
  • When asked about the possibility that taking the job representing a bit of an awkward move given Rick Renteria still being the Cubs manager, Theo Epstein stepped in to answer first, reinforcing the timeline he laid out on Friday in which it was carefully established that the Cubs did no wrong and there was no tampering, etc. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know what happened with that specifically. I also know that no one with the Cubs, be it employees or fans, particularly cares, and that Rick Renteria is too much of a baseball lifer to make a fuss over it. For Maddon’s part, he reiterated that he had no idea that he had an opt-out clause with the Rays until his agent called him and told him.

There was certainly a lot of enthusiasm on Maddon’s part. And no small amount of enthusiasm from the press corps, who generally speaking, seem happy Maddon is around. Maybe they like that he’s a good quote. Maybe, even if professional ethics won’t allow them to admit it, they think he’ll make the Cubs a winner and that it’s more fun to cover a winner. I dunno.

But it’s certainly a new era in Chicago.

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White Sox acquire reliever Franklin German in trade with Red Sox

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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Franklin German in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.

The White Sox sent minor league right-hander Theo Denlinger to Boston for German, who made his major league debut in September. Right-hander Jason Bilous was designated for assignment to make room for German on Chicago’s 40-man roster.

The 25-year-old German played for Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester for most of last season, going 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and seven saves in in 43 relief appearances. The right-hander had no record and an 18.00 ERA in five appearances with the Red Sox.

German, a fourth-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft, was designated for assignment when Boston acquired reliever Richard Bleier in a trade with Miami.

The 26-year-old Denlinger had a 2-2 record and a 4.47 ERA in 40 appearances last season with Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He was a seventh-round selection in the 2021 draft out of Bradley University.