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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Angels never had much confidence in Joe Maddon entering season

Joe Maddon at a press conference

2022 was a make-or-break year for Joe Maddon as manager of the Los Angeles Angels. The team’s recent 12-game losing streak turned into a breaking point.

The Angels on Tuesday fired Maddon amid their losing streak in hopes that a new voice will help turn things around. They never really had much confidence in him this year anyway.

Maddon signed a 3-year deal with the Angels when he was hired to manage them prior to the 2020 season. He entered this season as a lame-duck manager; he had have a successful season to earn a contract extension.

The team started off strong. They were 27-17 and looked to be in good shape to make the postseason for the first time since 2014. But then they started losing games and couldn’t stop.

A big postseason run would have triggered a $4 million vesting option for the manager. But Maddon also had a $1 million buyout. According to reporter Bob Nightengale, the Angels never engaged in contract extension talks with Maddon.

Maddon went 130-148 (.468) over two-plus seasons as the team’s manager.

While the team has the flashy names in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, they have had several other gaping holes; poorly used funds; and several injuries.

Ohtani did not pitch in 2020; Trout was injured most of 2021; and Anthony Rendon has been injured for much of 2021 and 2021. The Angels gave out bad contracts to Albert Pujols, Justin Upton and Rendon, all of which hampered their ability to build well otherwise.

Maddon just wasn’t given a chance this year in what was his first full season with a reasonable roster and few injuries. Now it will be interim manager Phil Nevin’s turn to see what he can do.

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