Thoughts on Joe Maddon to the Cubs From a St. Louis Cardinals’ Fan Perspective
So. The Chicago Cubs are set to make Joe Maddon their new manager on Monday. Well. Woop-Tee-Freakin’ Do!
Here are my thoughts, as a St. Louis Cardinals fan, on this move.
1. Yes, It’s Great For The Rivalry. Unless the Chicago Cubs bad awful joo-joo is so powerful that it affects Maddon the moment he puts on the ‘C’ hat, the Cubs will actually have themselves a fine manager. The Cubs are a really young, up and coming team and Maddon had plenty of success with young players while he was skipper of the Tampa Bay Rays. It will be nice to see the team led by someone with competence.
2. This is the Cubs. Need I say more! Do you really expect to see a World Series championship there next season? I mean… REALLY? It’s the Cubs! That said… I expect them to be a formidable opponent in the NL Central. They will be in it ’til the end. … That took a lot for me to type y’all. Calm down!
3. Poor Rick Renteria. The Cubs apparently have high standards for their managers now! In one season, Rick lead the Cubbies to a 73-89 record. … Be honest, isn’t that record better than you thought it would be! Let’s be even more honest. No matter the team’s youth and considering it was the manager’s first season at the helm, that’s still not a good record. The Cubs were loyal to their organization and are taking a big gamble in bringing on Maddon. Having the chance to get Maddon, who had a 754-705 in nine seasons in Tampa, was more than the organization could ignore in favor of loyalty. And I get it.
4. That said, Cardinals fans hoping the team would get rid of Mike Matheny for Maddon are being unrealistic. Especially now. In three seasons as a first time manager … I mean he hadn’t managed a team, ever … Matheny has taken the St. Louis Cardinals to the post season all three years. That’s honestly nothing to sneeze at. If Rick Renteria had done that with Chicago Cubs, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now. … Wait, this is the Cubs. My bad.
Matheny has a pretty deep history with the Cardinals. He has the respect of the organization and it’s players. He may not have the respect of some of their more outspoken fans who question EVERYTHING the man does. And I’m sure he gives a flip.
This team has experienced a major loss this offseason with the death of rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras. Matheny knows what it is like to lose a close teammate. Darryl Kile and Matheny were close friends and the death of Kile hit the catcher hard. He knows what the team will be going through this year. He knows because he’s been there. This team will need that from their leader. Someone with empathy, compassion, the ability to keep the team together like a family.
Read this statement from Matheny’s reaction to Taveras’ death and honestly tell me that he shouldn’t be leading this team, if you really believe that:
"In my opinion, the word “love” is the most misused, and misunderstood word in the English language. It is not popular for men to use this word, and even less popular for athletes. But, there is not a more accurate word for how a group of men share a deep and genuine concern for each other. We loved Oscar, and he loved us. That is what a team does, that is what a family does. You will be missed, Oscar."
Bringing in someone brand new to the organization … just because a certain group of fans viscerally hates your decision making … is absolutely ridiculous.
And honestly… That is precisely akin to what the Cubs are doing now by bringing in a new manager just because they have the money to do it and pay off Renteria. Dumb. Just dumb. I understand the gamble for the Cubs. I wouldn’t understand it for the Cardinals. And thank goodness we don’t have to worry about it.
5. Matheny Is a Good Leader For This Team. That will be my stance. It just will. I’ve been a fan of this hire since it was made. When he was a player, I greatly appreciated his grit and determination, his fight for his team and teammates, his will to win. As manager, I think he’s continued with that. Granted. He’s made some decisions that make me scratch my head, but I can’t think of another manager who would do better with this team at this critical time when the team needs a strong leader THAT KNOWS THEM SO WELL.
5.5. Tony LaRussa wouldn’t come out of retirement/his cushy job with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Stop it.
6. The Cardinals ARE NOT The Cubs. And that’s honestly just one of the things we love about the Cardinals.