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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Articles tagged: Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon defends Anthony Rizzo over accusations of dirty slide

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was at the center of controversy on Monday, and manager Joe Maddon was not having it.

Rizzo slid into Pirates catcher Elias Diaz on a force play at home and appeared to go well out of the baseline to try to prevent the catcher from making an accurate throw to first. It worked — Diaz threw the ball into right field and the Cubs went up 5-0, and though the play was reviewed under MLB’s slide rules, it was upheld.

Maddon defended his first baseman after the game, saying it was silly to have even needed a review.

Rizzo himself claimed that some Pirates players had told him they had no issue with the slide.

The Cubs and Pirates have rather extensive history, so we’ll see what Pittsburgh’s players think. That said, it’s hard to see Maddon’s point here. Rizzo was a long way from home plate and the slide was dangerous at best.

Joe Maddon has funny reaction to what sparked Cubs-Reds tussle

Joe Maddon

Things got a bit heated between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinks he knows why.

Reds left-hander Amir Garrett celebrated after striking out Chicago second baseman Javier Baez to end the sixth inning, and Baez did not seem to appreciate that. The two exchanged words, and the benches cleared, though no punches were thrown.

So what was the issue with Garrett’s celebration? According to Maddon, the “roar” was a tiny bit over the top.

Ironically, Baez has been on the other side of a controversy like this. It sounds like much ado about something fairly insignificant.

Joe Maddon: Sports gambling has ‘always been legal’

Joe Maddon Cubs

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon isn’t reading much into Monday’s Supreme Court ruling about sports gambling.

After the high court repealed the ban on sports betting at a federal level, Maddon was underwhelmed, stating that gambling has always been going on, and that the ruling is simply a means of removing the shroud from something that has been happening everywhere.

As Maddon noted, sports betting is, for now, up to the states. The Cubs manager doesn’t seem to have any problem with this, and frankly, he’s right that people have been betting on sports, legal or not, for a very long time. Now nobody has to pretend anymore.

Joe Maddon supports Loyola, wants to meet Sister Jean

Joe Maddon

Chicago sports are rallying around Loyola on their run to the Final Four, and that includes the Cubs.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon donned a Loyola shirt for his pre-game availability on Saturday, and he voiced interest in meeting Sister Jean, the team chaplain.

We assume Maddon was first in the queue for a Sister Jean bobblehead.

The Cubs are playing in Miami on Saturday night, so they’ll have to catch up on the result later.

Joe Maddon expresses support for Jon Lester’s bounce throw strategy

Joe Maddon

Jon Lester’s bold new strategy officially has the blessing of the man in charge.

The Chicago Cubs left-hander revealed over the weekend that he will be turning to bounce throws in an attempt to remedy his notorious career-long troubles with throwing to first base. Lester experimented with the gambit in a Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday but surprised first baseman Efren Navarro with the throw, resulting in an error. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was still vocal in his support however.

“I thought that was perfect,” Maddon said on Monday, per Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “Efren’s not used to working with him, and he kind of stretched a little early. I honestly believe if Efren had played with him more, he would’ve been in position to catch that ball.

“It’s going to work,” continued Maddon about the greater strategy. “They’re working on it, and working on different methods to get it done.”

Unconventional? Yes. But even Lester knows the running joke that his ersatz pickoff tosses and other various bumbling throws to first have become around the league, so the one-hopper approach is probably well worth a try for him.

Joe Maddon nearly came running out in jock strap over Curtis Granderson call

Joe Maddon ejection

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected from Game 4 of the NLCS Wednesday night after a third strike call was overturned and allowed Curtis Granderson to see another pitch. And had the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder belted a home run after umpires allowed his at-bat to continue, the scene would have been a lot uglier.

Fortunately for the Cubs, Granderson struck out anyway after the umpiring crew determined that he foul tipped a 2-2 pitch rather than missing it. Maddon says he would have come sprinting out of the clubhouse if the result was different.

That’s a site nobody wants to see, so we’re all glad Granderson swung and missed on the next pitch.

The Cubs eventually came away with a 3-2 win to avoid being swept. Maddon has been in a particularly sour mood throughout the series, as he was also ejected in Game 1 after going ballistic over a call involving the Posey Rule.

Joe Maddon loses his mind after umpires overturn strikeout

Joe Maddon ejection

Joe Maddon was ejected from Game 4 of the NLCS Wednesday after a strikeout was overturned by the umpires.

Curtis Granderson was up with a runner on first and one out in the top of the eighth and his Los Angeles Dodgers trailing the Chicago Cubs 3-2.

Granderson swung at a 2-2 breaking ball that bounced in the dirt and was caught by Willson Contreras. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf initially said Granderson had struck out to make it two outs in the inning. But Granderson would not go quietly and kept insisting that he fouled off the pitch.

Replays seemed to show he missed the pitch, but manager Dave Roberts came out to fight on Granderson’s behalf anyhow.

Wolf ended up asking the rest of his crew for help, and third base umpire Joe Cooper reportedly said Granderson had tipped the ball. After conferring with his crew, Wolf declared it a foul tip, which brought Granderson back up with a 2-2 count.

Maddon was furious over the call and came roaring out of the dugout. He lost his mind, got his money’s worth arguing with the umpires and was eventually ejected.

Granderson returned to finish his at-bat and whiffed on the next pitch to officially strikeout. Wade Davis stayed in the game for the Cubs and eventually escaped the inning without allowing a run to keep it at a 3-2 score.

The incident marked Maddon’s second ejection of the series, as he was tossed in Game 1 for arguing a Buster Posey ruling.

Joe Maddon delivers classic quote about not pitching Wade Davis in Game 2

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon made one of the more puzzling decisions of the MLB postseason on Sunday night when he chose not to bring closer Wade Davis into the 9th inning of a tie game, and the Chicago Cubs manager had an awesome way of explaining himself the following day.

When asked on Tuesday about his questionable decision to pitch John Lackey — who gave up a three-run homer to lose the game — instead of Davis, Maddon had a colorful response.

Maddon was expanding on his explanation from Sunday, in which he told reporters that he only wanted Davis to enter the game if the Cubs got the lead and he did not want to have him warm up and not pitch. Thus, the whole humping thing.

Most people don’t agree with Maddon’s logic. The respected manager said Davis was only available for one inning, but wouldn’t you rather send your most reliable reliever out there to preserve a tie and worry about the rest after? That’s the question Maddon has avoided answering.

Joe Maddon explains why he did not bring Wade Davis into Game 2

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon gave us one of the great head-scratching decisions of the postseason when he opted not to pitch Wade Davis during a tie game on Sunday and instead let John Lackey pitch in a critical situation, which backfired.

Jon Lester started for the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS and went 4.2 innings, allowing one run. Carl Edwards Jr. went 1.1 scoreless innings and was followed by Pedro Strop, who also threw a scoreless frame. Then came Brian Duensing, who maintained the 1-1 score until the ninth.

Duensing gave up a lead off walk in the 9th, allowed the runner to move to second on a sac bunt, and then he got a strikeout. Maddon then decided to bring in Lackey to face Chris Taylor with two outs and a runner on second in the 1-1 game. Lackey walked Taylor then gave up a walk-off shot to Justin Turner to end the game.

After the game, Maddon was faced with questions about why he didn’t bring in Davis, the team’s closer. Maddon said Davis could only pitch one inning, and they were being selective about it. Here are his comments:

Maddon also explained why he chose to have Lackey pitch in that situation.

“Because he was going to pitch the next inning too, and two righties coming up there. I liked him a lot on the first guy — Taylor — once that walk occurred, all bets are off against Turner. Nobody’s a really great matchup against Turner, so it just did not work out,” said Maddon.

Maddon is viewed as a progressive, non-traditional manager who thinks outside the box. In this situation he played things by the book by not pitching his closer during a tie game on the road. Contrarily, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had his closer Kenley Jansen pitch the top of the ninth of the tie game, which paid off. Jansen got the win.

Maddon needs to be reminded that you don’t get to a save situation if you let the other team beat one of your inferior pitchers first.

Joe Maddon goes ballistic after Cubs give up run on illegal block (Video)

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon gave us all a good old-fashioned managerial temper tantrum on Saturday after an overturned call put another run on the board for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 1 of the NLCS, Dodgers shortstop Charlie Culberson failed to touch the plate trying to score and was ultimately tagged out by Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. Upon review, Contreras was found to be illegally blocking the plate by not giving Culberson a lane and awarded the Dodgers the run, making it a 5-2 game.

Maddon — who has been critical of the so-called Posey Rule in the past — went nuts.

Maddon was obviously ejected, and the Cubs went on to drop Game 1 5-2, meaning the play did not factor in to the result — the Dodgers had enough runs anyway. This isn’t the first time the Posey Rule has given them trouble this season.