If it ain’t fixed, don’t break from it. That’s how it goes, right? Whatever broke with the Cubs last year still hasn’t been fixed, but that doesn’t mean Joe Maddon plans to do change anything in an attempt to yield better results.
“Everyone likes anger at these moments or being upset,” Maddon said prior to Thursday’s game. “It’s just not the right way to do things. For me, its continuing of the same process. A different method is not going to extrapolate what you’re looking for.”
Maybe I’m hearing that wrong, but isn’t he just paraphrasing the Einsteinian definition of insanity? Continuing the same process is what has the Cubs playing sub-.500 baseball over their last 101 games (50-51) pending their finale in San Diego. It’s what had them stumbling down the stretch last season as Milwaukee caught them, and it’s what has them doing more of the same this season.
Unless you’re looking to extrapolate the same brand of bad baseball Theo Epstein has publicly bemoaned, a different method is exactly what the Cubs need to employ. Maddon seems to be saying that everything is fine and that just sticking with the status quo is sure to produce something better once everyone gives it a little more time.
If that’s indeed what he’s saying, he’s either delusional or a hypocrite. After all, Maddon had Anthony Rizzo back in the leadoff role a day after inexplicably putting Tony Kemp there for Wednesday’s listless loss. Seems like that’s a different method, though I’m just one of those fans who has a ridiculous concept of what goes into lineup construction.
There’s some merit to what Maddon is saying about anger not necessarily being the best response to what’s going on with the Cubs, but that might still be better than the emotional vacuum in which they appear to be operating. Which isn’t to say that the players aren’t upset about their results or that they don’t care, just that the team as a whole doesn’t seem to be playing with passion.
Maddon himself talked about not being as tolerant with his pitchers, so maybe the Cubs should stop being tolerant of losing. Maybe getting pissed isn’t such a bad thing at this point. What’s the worst that could happen, they end up missing out on the playoffs? Better to go down kicking and screaming than to finish the season in a collective Om pose while the building burns down.
Because, you know, doing the same thing and expecting different results has been working out really well so far.