With the World Series taking a day off on Thursday, several teams around Major League Baseball took the opportunity to drop some news.
Among those teams were the Los Angeles Angels, who made the hiring of Joe Maddon as their new manager official with an introductory press conference at Angel Stadium.
As we’ve learned in the past, Joe Maddon with a live microphone can lead to some interesting moments. He didn’t disappoint Thursday as he managed to squeeze in some some playful jabs that will surely catch the attention of fans of his most recent employer, the Chicago Cubs.
Maddon wants a shot at Cubs in the World Series
While addressing a question about his Cubs’ tenure, Maddon let everyone know what his dream scenario would be as Angels manager.
"The ultimate goal... we play them [the Cubs] in the World Series and beat 'em,” Maddon said, courtesy of NBC Sports Chicago. “That would be my pipe dream right there."
In his second season as Cubs manager back in 2016, Maddon led the franchise to its first World Series championship in 108 years. That undoubtedly earned him a lifetime of respect and admiration from some Cubs fans.
Of course, not all of them feel that way. Others were quick to sour on Maddon when his final three seasons didn’t lead to another World Series title despite Chicago having a top-notch roster. Those fans might not appreciate the mere suggestion that Maddon would enjoy taking down a team that some feel he’s already helped destroy to some degree.
Could a Cubs-Angels World Series actually happen?
The chances of that dream matchup happening would seem to be a long shot. At least in the short term. Despite the presence of Mike Trout, the Angels have a long way to go to build a team that can compete with the American League’s best. Los Angeles won just 72 games in 2019 and finished 35 games behind the Houston Astros.
Unlike when Maddon walked into Chicago’s clubhouse with a roster that was ready to compete, he’ll have to help oversee the restructuring of a flawed roster. Maddon’s deal runs for three seasons, so the turnaround will have to be quick if he hopes to hold up his end of the “pipe dream.”
The Cubs are at a crossroads too after mutually parting ways with Maddon on Sept. 29 and ultimately hiring David Ross, one of the heroes of the 2016 team, to be the team’s new manager.
Ross is walking into a clubhouse that needs a boost of energy and confidence. But the Cubs success over the next few seasons should ultimately fall on the front office led by Theo Epstein. Tough decisions will have to be made in order to get Chicago back in the World Series hunt.
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