2015 Cubs Convention: Joe Maddon and His Coaching Staff
On Nov. 3, 2014, the Cubs hired former AL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon to be the 54th manager in Cubs history. Known as a player’s coach and one of the best, most visionary minds in the game, Maddon brings credibility, personality and more to the North Side. The entire coaching staff covered a number of topics with host and CBS Radio-WXRT personality Lin Brehmer.
Cubs fans enjoy Joe Maddon. The applause after his introduction says as much. As festivities of the Cubs Convention rolled into Saturday, people poured into the Joe Maddon and His Coaching Staff panel to get a first-hand look at the first-year Cubs manager.
“Where’s the fire marshal?” asked Maddon when looking out at the standing-room-only crowd.
Hosted by Brehmer, the staff gave insight in terms of what to expect for the upcoming year. They also answered an array of questions from fans, explained their expectations of the task at hand and had some fun in the process. Some of the highlights included:
“People always run away from expectations,” Maddon said, when discussing the Sporting News’ prediction that the Cubs will win the World Series. “Bring on the expectations, I think it’s great. … Let’s do what Riz wants us to do, let’s win the Central.”
On multiple occasions, the new skipper stated he hadn’t yet filled out a lineup card and that he needs to better evaluate the players on his staff. He did say he got his information from various places, joking he even took some lineup-creating advice from the Tampa Chamber of Commerce while with the Rays. They finished with a 3-2 record.
He also retold his story of his appreciation of Wrigley Field, comparing walking off the pitcher’s mound after a meeting and gazing around the stadium to a view from reminiscent of the movie Gladiator.
New bench coach Dave Martinez, who spent eight seasons as Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay, joked that “if it’s 70 [degrees] or less, he’ll wear that Elmer Fudd hat.
“I’ve heard things like he’s a mad scientist but this guy eats, sleeps, breathes baseball.”
New hitting coach John Mallee said he has an out if the team’s offense fails to live up to expectation.
“If we do well, I’m going to look like genius, if I don’t I’ll blame [new assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske].”
When asked a question regarding pregame rituals, Maddon responded “I don’t have any superstitions, and I hope not to acquire them,” a statement that brought a lot of laughs given the Cubs’ superstition-filled history.
The main aspect Maddon hopes to work on as the team heads to Spring Training is the creation of relationships. He believes a team reacts better to criticism when coaches and players have a better trust between themselves.