Saturday, December 17, 2016


Photo: Getty Images
I'm happy for the Chicago Cubs, and when they went to the playoffs I was excited for the teams there because I am a baseball fan first and there were some great stories... like the Indians... like the Cubs. But even when I was rooting for the Cubs, I'm not gonna lie... it was hard to root for Joe Maddon.

I know he's a good manager. I get that.  But I hate arrogance, and Joe has too much of it.  I don't like that he tries to be the players friend... like the cool mom who let's the kids drink at her house. I feel like he presents himself as Papa Smurf... he knows all, he befriends who he wants to and to hell with everyone else.  He's trying to make his legacy into one of legend, and I am not on board. We've written about him a lot here over the years on BYB.  How about this one from 2012:  JOE MADDON'S "COOL DAD" ACT IS OLD.

Now in the game of baseball, the goal is to win at all costs. So when Aroldis Chapman came out saying that Maddon overused him in the World Series... it wasn't that Chapman didn't want to be out there. Every player wants their moment. It's that Chapman was suggesting that there's plenty of reliable arms in the bullpen... Why the hell am I the guy you bring out every 5 minutes? How many moments do I need?  Chapman said this. The New York Times will handle it:

Photo: New York Daily News
 "If Manager Joe Girardi’s ironclad, by-the-book protocol leaves some Yankees fans gnashing their teeth from time to time, it feels like a security blanket to Aroldis Chapman... Chapman, who recently signed a five-year, $86 million contract to return to the Yankees — where he spent the first half of last season as their closer before being dealt to the Chicago Cubs for prospects — made it clear on Friday that despite winning a World Series in Chicago he never quite took to the unpredictable ways of Cubs Manager Joe Maddon in the postseason.

'Personally I don’t agree with the way he used me,' said Chapman, speaking through an interpreter in a conference call with reporters the day after his signing became official. 'But he is the manager and he had the strategy, you know?'”

Photo: Chicago Tribune
Papa Smurf shot back... kind of. Here's the New York Post:

"Maddon defended his moves, saying, 'Would I do it differently? No. There is no Game 7 without winning Game 6. And there is no Game 8 if you don’t win Game 7. That’s why you do what you have to do.

Source: Getty Images
'I appreciate what he said. If he feels that way, he did not tell me about that at the moment or after the moment,' continued Maddon, always known as a strong communicator with his players.  'At the end of the day, man, we would not have won without him, and I appreciate everything he did. But I promise everything we did do, we did with his consent by talking to him prior to the game.'’’

Now, look, as a coach myself on a much lower level, I get it... you need to win the game, but clearly there's a language barrier here. Plus, Maddon's not stupid. He knows that any players mentality is to "give me the ball" because you want opportunities as a player.  But when you step back and look in at the situation, it's easy to see that that Cubs team was solid, and Papa could have mixed and matched much better.  In Little League you call it the Stud Road... the easy way out. Give the ball to the stud. Don't worry if he gets hurt and forget about the other kids... we need to win.

It's crap... it really is. There needs to be balance... at any level.

Now look, whatever happened between Chapman is Maddon is on them, but clearly not everything was discussed as Maddon claims. And if it was, I'm not sure Chapman understood any of it. You see what I mean?

In the end, Chapman's back in the Bronx again, and Maddon's in the NL.  I'm glad about all of that... no more crap from Papa Smurf for me.

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