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#pounditThursday, December 9, 2021

Anthony Rizzo backs Joe Maddon amid hot seat talk

Joe Maddon Cubs

Joe Maddon has enjoyed tremendous success in his four seasons as manager of the Chicago Cubs, but there has been some talk about his World Series championship and NL Manager of the Year Award not being enough for him to keep his job next year. At least one of Maddon’s star players thinks that is ludicrous.

After the Cubs lost the NL Wild Card Game in 13 innings on Tuesday, slugger Anthony Rizzo was asked for his thoughts on the rumblings that Maddon is on the hot seat. He passionately defended the manager.

Ken Rosenthal went into great detail about some of the reasons Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein might decide to move on from Maddon, and they include everything from the team’s inconsistent offense to Epstein seemingly blaming Maddon for reliever Brandon Morrow’s arm injury. Rosenthal also cited potential off-field issues like Maddon publicly saying he would not read the blog post in which Addison Russell’s ex-wife accused him of abusing her, as Maddon told the media he would prefer to let the investigation “play its course.”

The Cubs have averaged 97 wins in Maddon’s four seasons as manager and won a World Series for the first time in over a century. That said, successful managers like Joe Girardi, Dusty Baker and John Farrell all lost their jobs after reaching the playoffs last year. Two of those managers had won titles with the teams that fired them. Firing Maddon wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented.

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