There is little doubt that Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in baseball.
But what does it say about the Chicago Cubs that they would, apparently, hire former Tampa Bay Rays skipper -- publicly -- while they have another manager already in place? It's one of the coldest things that can happen in business when a loyal employee is fired, not for their performance, but because I high profile replacement comes along.
Rick Renteria was hired by the Wee Bears last year to lead their club after previous manager Dale Sveum was canned. That's three skippers for Chicago in three years.
The Cubs have been in rebuilding mode for several years now and a lousy record was expected while the team waited for prospects to make their way through Chicago's minor league system. Besides, what can be expected when, one by one, a team trades off anyone on its roster that another club might want? So Sveum said he felt he was "blindsided" when he was fired in 2013. How must Renteria feel?
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If Maddon wasn't suddenly available, would the Cubs have even dreamed about letting him go? It's doubtful. Renteria seemed universally liked by the players and is thought of as a good teacher.
The hiring of Maddon seems to be the Cubs' declaration that they're ready to be compete again -- and to bid for high-end talent on the free agent market. But I wonder how the team's treatment of players and staff will impact the thoughts of potential acquisitions.
Money, in Major League Baseball, will always have the final say. But former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse recently talked about how players not only remember shabby treatment from certain organizations. But, also, they talk to their peers about it.
Frankly, as much respect as I have for Maddon, I'm more than a little shocked that he'd agree to take the Cubs job with Renteria already in place. While Maddon's addition make make the Wee Bears seem like an immediate contender, previous high profile managers including Dusty Baker and Lou Pineilla couldn't reverse 100 years of bad Cubs k