MLB: OCT 01 Rays at RoyalsJoe Maddon will be introduced later today as the next manager of the Chicago Cubs thus ending a shady timeline that may have started while Maddon was still manager of the Rays and saw another manager get screwed out of a job.

Before the Cubs could hire Maddon, they had to fire Rick Renteria who had just managed his first season in the big leagues and led the Cubs to a 73-89 record. Cubs president Theo Epstein issued a statement pretty much admitting that Renteria was getting screwed:

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,” Epstein said. “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.

That quote also seems to needlessly point out when the Cubs first learned of Maddon’s free agency. That’s important because some believe the Cubs contacted Maddon, either directly or indirectly, before he opted out of his contract and may have influenced his decision to do so.

When Maddon first opted-out of his deal, Marc Topkin reported that “the Rays side” wondered if Maddon had already cut a deal with another team prior to opting out.

That’s a big no-no. It’s called tampering and if proven, the Cubs would be penalized by MLB.

After Maddon’s deal with the Cubs was announced, Topkin and the Rays turned up the flame when he reported that the Rays “remain convinced that the Cubs enticed Maddon to opt out of the final year of his contract” and that they are still considering whether to file tampering charges.

Buster Olney compares the situation to pitchers using pine tar. Things like this go on all the time. But when it is so blatantly obvious, you may have no choice but to stand up and say something or you look like a push-over.

Meanwhile, Maddon’s agent turned to name-calling in defense of his client. In an interview with Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio, Alan Nero called the allegations “silly,” “sad,” and “a bit insulting.”

I’ve long said that Joe Maddon is a manager that you love if he is leading your team and you absolutely hate if you are rooting for the other team. He often comes off as a bit arrogant and always believes he is the smartest guy in the room.

Rays fans are getting this dose of reality much sooner than we could have anticipated and it will be interesting to see just how warmly Maddon is treated next time he returns as manager.

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6 Comments

  1. Dave L says:

    Ken R had an extended interview on Hot Stove just now. They went over all of this and really nothing new to add. It was funny that as the piece extended they discussed the Twins hire and managerial goings on. Then Ken wrapped it up by saying "well there is one more manager to hire" after a pregnant pause as Harold and Matt were stumped he says the Rays and Matty says oh yeah thats right...........

    I think everyone associated with MLB expects the rays to fade into Bolivia.

    As far as the going after another mans job line of thinking, its actually ludicrous and only can be thought of through the prism of fandom and not the real world.

    Going after someones job is the essence of pro sports. Every backup wants a starter job. Every AAA player wants the 25th man on the benches job. Every young AA player wants the job of some 30 something AAA guy who will soon be out baseball and his dream will die.

    Thats why its called competitve sports. The winners win and then some of the losers are out of sports all together.

    So its very hard to shed tears for a guy 'out of a job' who will still get paid for 2 years. Most are lucky to get 2 weeks notice in the real world and no compensation. Plus he's not going on welfare, he will get a coaching job easily in MLB.

    The one guy who's ambitions hangs in the balance is Davy M. If you think about it, this is likely his last shot at a MLB managers gig. He has been on what, a half a dozen interviews? If the Rays who know him better than anyone dont give him this job when it comes up, I think the window of opportunity for him will have likely closed as it sends a message to all of MLB.

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  2. Woodrow744 says:

    Yes, I hope the crickets chirp extra loud the next time Joe and the Cubbies come to the Trop.

    And in other news, Matt Silverman celebrated one entire week of no one leaving the team over money. "It's a real credit to Stu and the commitment he has made to the Montre……I mean Tampa Bay area."

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  3. crazy says:

    Alan Nero told us that the Cubs would not talk to them until they had a copy of his opt out clause & permission from Commish Office XM 89

    — Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) November 2, 2014

    May not be tampering but Maddon's agent certainly confirmed there was some kind of communication with the Cubs before Maddon chose to opt out.

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  4. monte says:

    Why do we think the Rays will move to Montreal?

    2004 attendance for the Expos was 749,550 or 16 out of 16.
    2003 attendance was 16 out of 16.
    2002 attendance was 16 out of 16.
    2001 was 16 out of 16.
    2000 was 16 out of 16.

    Only in 2003 did attendance exceed 1 million.

    I don't understand this "going to Montreal" talk.

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