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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Articles tagged: Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon calls out Addison Russell after mistake-filled performance

Addison Russell

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is not known for calling out his players publicly, but he didn’t resist after Addison Russell’s performance on Saturday.

The Cubs shortstop made a litany of mistakes, including three baserunning errors and a mistake in the field.

That was too much for Maddon to take. He said after the Cubs’ 6-5 win that Russell “has to” sort the mistakes out.

Russell has not been a favorite of Cub fans this season for both his performance and his off-field transgressions, and made things even worse for himself by criticizing his critics before ultimately backing down. Maddon, for one, certainly seems to be tiring of the on-field mistakes.

Joe Maddon has interesting thoughts on size of baseballs

Joe Maddon

A major topic of conversation around baseball this year has been the increased home run rate and what the baseballs used have to do with it, with some believing that MLB is manipulating them to make them fly farther.

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasn’t going to fling wild accusations around. But on Sunday, he not only joked about their resemblance to golf balls in a certain way, but also suggested that there wasn’t always consistency with the baseballs used in games.

There’s no specific evidence here, and it’s simply a matter of what Maddon thinks he felt. It’s interesting all the same, and it would be intriguing to learn if any pitchers felt the same way.

MLB has admitted that there may be something about the baseballs making them fly further, but commissioner Rob Manfred suggested it has more to do with the manufacturing than any action on MLB’s part. That won’t stop some within the game from feeling that there’s far more at work.

Joe Maddon ejected, upset with Pirates for throwing up and in

Joe Maddon

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected from Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after getting upset with the opposing team for throwing up and in on his players.

Javy Baez was batting for the Cubs in the top of the fourth inning. Pirates starter Jordan Lyles kept throwing high and tight on Baez, who did not like the pitches coming so close to his head. After a 3-2 pitch went near his head and hit the knob of his bat as he moved out of the way, Maddon was fuming.

The Cubs manager came out of the dugout and began yelling across the field at Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Umpire Joe West tried to keep Maddon away from Hurdle and got in between them.

Maddon had to be restrained and ended up being tossed from the game.

Baez struck out in the at-bat to end the half inning.

Why was Maddon so upset? He felt like Lyles was throwing up and in too much. The data shows how often Lyles was missing up and in.

Maddon was also ejected from a Pirates-Cubs game back in April for arguing balls and strikes.

Eight MLB managers who could be on the hot seat

Though we’re nearly halfway through the season, we have yet to see an in-season managerial change in Major League Baseball this year. Will that stay the case? It’s hard to say, though there are certainly some who could lose their job tomorrow and few would be surprised.

Even if no changes are imminent, there are a number of managers whose statuses are up in the air beyond the 2019 season, and can’t be feeling all that comfortable in their seats right now. Here are eight managers who are under increasing pressure in 2019 if they want to keep their job going forward.

8. Mike Shildt, Cardinals

Shildt took over as the Cardinals’ interim manager last year and had that tag removed in August. Just shy of a year on, it’s tough to argue that he’s moved the organization forward, as they hover a few games above .500 despite a busy offseason that was meant to put them back in the mix for a World Series. Shildt is probably not in any imminent danger, and will see out the season unless the Cardinals really fall into a tailspin, but the Cardinals, as an organization, typically demand more than he has delivered so far.

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Joe Maddon critical of umpire CB Bucknor

Joe Maddon

Umpire CB Bucknor is not a popular guy around Major League Baseball, and Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is the latest to publicly criticize him.

The Cubs did not like Bucknor’s strike zone in a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. After the game, Maddon took a direct shot at the umpire, saying “everyone expects” a sub-par performance from him at this point.

It was easy to see why the Cubs were up in arms over Bucknor’s zone.

In fact, Bucknor was consistently calling outside strikes against right-handed hitters, with Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill using his curveball to exploit it repeatedly.

Bucknor is, unfortunately, known around baseball for blowing his share of calls and has a reputation as one of the worst active umpires. The Cubs are only the latest in a long line of teams to have a huge problem with the way he calls games, and it’s not hard to see why.

Joe Maddon has had ‘zero’ discussions with front office about Kimbrel

Joe Maddon

If Joe Maddon wants the Chicago Cubs to get him Craig Kimbrel, he isn’t being overt about it.

Amid reports that the Cubs have explored the possibility of signing Kimbrel, Maddon said Sunday he has had “zero” discussions with the team’s front office about making the move to bolster Chicago’s struggling bullpen.

“It’s easy for me to say zero, because it’s true,” Maddon said, via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. “They could be [discussing it in the front office], absolutely. But, I have not had that discussion. Really, I don’t get involved in that a whole lot. … In situations like this, our guys are pretty aware. They don’t need to know what I think on that one.”

For Maddon, it’s pretty obvious: of course he’d love to have Kimbrel at the back of his bullpen. He doesn’t sound intent on forcing the issue, though. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the help may not be immediate, even if Chicago were to ink Kimbrel tomorrow.

Sean Doolittle jabs Joe Maddon over protest

Sean Doolittle

Sean Doolittle jabbed Joe Maddon after the Chicago Cubs manager filed a protest following Saturday’s game.

Doolittle pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the save in his Washington Nationals’ 5-2 win over the Cubs. Maddon came out twice during the ninth to complain about a toe tap the closer does during his delivery.

Maddon justified his protest, saying his reliever Carl Edwards Jr was told during spring training that he couldn’t do a similar toe tap. His argument is that if his guy can’t do it, why should another pitcher?

Doolittle thought something else was up. He thought Maddon was trying to throw him off and prove “how smart he is.”

Maddon has long been viewed as an outside-the-box thinker, which is why Doolittle was taking a shot at him over his intellectual ability. Maybe the protest wasn’t so much about Doolittle as pointing out hypocrisy in the rules.

Watch: Joe Maddon ejected for arguing balls and strikes

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon was ejected from Thursday night’s Chicago Cubs-Pittsburgh Pirates game for arguing balls and strikes.

Maddon was upset with a strike call on Victor Caratini in bottom of the fifth. Joe Musgrove threw a breaking ball that crossed at the knees and was called a strike by umpire Mike Estabrook. Maddon thought it should have been ball four, so he protested. He came out of the dugout despite being warned not to by Estabrook and was tossed as a result.

Maddon may have been irritated about the zone, but the truth is the pitch crossed the plate in the strike zone and was a good call by Estabrook.

Maddon was probably ticked off because he’s desperate. His Cubs have started the season 3-8 and were in a scoreless game. Had that pitch been called a ball, the Cubs would have had the bases loaded with only one out. Instead, the strike call made it a full count and Caratini struck out. The Cubs ended up stranding both runners, keeping things scoreless.

Eight MLB managers on the hot seat entering 2019

Joe Maddon

Even with the regular season weeks away, we know which MLB teams are facing heightened expectations in 2019. While much was made of a very slow offseason, the truth is there were certain teams that invested and will now have the expectation of success and a playoff run this year. The managers of those teams subsequently have to deliver — especially if these managers have yet to show they can produce the goods.

Here are eight managers facing some serious pressure who could find themselves on the hot seat if the 2019 season goes poorly.

Joe Maddon, Cubs

In four years at the helm, Maddon has never won fewer than 92 games, made the playoffs every season, and done the seemingly impossible by guiding the Chicago Cubs to a World Series win. So why is he entering the last season of his contract with whispers of discontent behind him? There’s a perception that the team has underachieved since that title, and last season they failed to win the division and lost the wild card game. Maddon seems to have no guarantees about his future, and Theo Epstein has promised big changes if the team doesn’t produce this year. One of those changes would probably be Maddon.

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Joe Maddon says Cubs are not going to sign Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

You can count the Chicago Cubs out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

Prior to this offseason, there was a lot of talk about the Cubs being contenders to sign Harper. After all, there had been rumors about wanting to play with the franchise. Fast forward to this offseason, and the Cubs just gave out a big contract to Yu Darvish, which was a bust in the first year, and they don’t seem to be eager to make another major financial commitment.

That’s why manager Joe Maddon said at a charity event on Tuesday that the team is not going to sign Harper. The information was shared by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Chicago probably feels like their offense will be more than set if their players get healthy and turn things around in 2019. Not only that, but they need to save money to pay some of their guys, namely Kris Bryant when he hits free agency. For now, it seems another NL team is a leading contender for Harper.