The Rundown: Maddon Ready to Learn, Ricketts Open to Theo Extension, Rizzo Loses Out on Silver Slugger Award
It’s becoming pretty clear that Joe Maddon is all about forming relationships and building trust.
This was his main message while appearing on the “Spiegel and Mannelly Show” on 670 the Score yesterday. The trust allows the manager to give the players more freedom. And that leads to respect, Maddon said.
But what about players who take advantage of the freedom? Simple: They shouldn’t be on the team, Maddon said.
Maddon also admitted he has a lot to learn, and that he is ready to do so. He will need to become more familiar with the National League, his fellow coaches, and how the winds at Wrigley will affect lineups. It makes sense that he still has a lot to learn; it’s not like Maddon had a lot of time to research for this managing job. Everything went down in a matter of a week after he opted out of his Tampa Bay contract.
“I’m not really aware of a lot of the nuances of the organization,” he said. “Listen, I’m all about getting help and getting other people’s opinions on things.”
In terms of his coaches, Maddon sounded like most would be sticking around, but didn’t say anything definitive. He admitted he already knows Chris Bosio, Lester Strode, Eric Hinske and Brandon Hyde, but that he would need to start contacting them. Maddon did not bring up third-base coach Gary Jones, who likely could be replaced because he was a Rick Renteria guy.
As we saw in his introductory press conference, Maddon came across as a very confident guy. His confidence is impressive, and I’m sure that’s going to rub off on the Cubs players.
Ricketts on TV deal, Theo extension
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts also was on the Score yesterday, on the “Mully and Hanley Show.” He didn’t get into too much detail on most topics, but said the upcoming TV deal will be the next big change for the organization.
He didn’t tip his hand about which way things would go, but said the Cubs have “a lot of potential partners” — despite poor ratings over the past couple of years.
When discussing an extension of Theo Epstein, Ricketts said, “I think the world of Theo.” He said that when Epstein is ready to talk about an extension, they will have those talks. It sounds like Epstein is more focused on having a strong off-season (which is a good thing), and that a deal will be worked out eventually.
Rizzo loses out on Silver Slugger Award
Anthony Rizzo really got hosed. On Thursday, he lost out on the Silver Slugger Award (top offensive player for each position) for first base to Adrian Gonzalez.
Rizzo had better numbers across the board: he hit .286/.386/.527 with 32 home runs, .397 wOBA, and 153 wRC+. Gonzalez hit .276/.335/.482 with 27 home runs, .351 wOBA, and 128 wRC+.
I know we’re going to be biased toward our guy, but come on. Rizzo was better in every major offensive category.
Silver Slugger Awards are voted on by managers and coaches. Bad job, managers and coaches.
* Really cool story involving Cubs top prospect, Kris Bryant: After a fan tweeted to him about verifying the authenticity of a game-used bat listed on eBay for $850, Bryant tweeted back that he would send him a bat for free. And he made good on his word, sending a signed bat. Looking forward to getting to see more of Bryant on a regular basis. Obviously his baseball skills are off the charts. But he seems like a really nice guy too.
* A day after former Cub Ryan Theriot made waves on Twitter for saying “Moneyball” doesn’t work, he visited with the “Kap and Haugh Show” on 87.7 The Game to defend himself. He also had a lot of nice things to say about new manager Joe Maddon, specifically that he’ll help change the club’s culture. Theriot admitted the 2007 and 2008 Cubs teams were the best teams he played for, yet “there wasn’t much of an identity.” Man, those teams had frustrating ends to their seasons.
* Apparently Pablo Sandoval is looking for a six-year deal, according to Henry Schulman from the San Francisco Chronicle. It sounds like the Giants really want to re-sign Sandoval, and that’s where I’m betting he ends up.