Cubs' Joe Maddon On Pressure In 2019: 'Fun'

His future with the Cubs in question, Joe Maddon is embracing the pressure.

Laurence Holmes Show
April 02, 2019 - 2:07 pm

(670 The Score) Upon arrival to the Cubs organization ahead of the 2015 season, manager Joe Maddon established a mantra that stated he and this team would never let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

Maddon is facing plenty of pressure in this 2019 season as he works in the final season of a five-year deal without any guarantees moving forward. The organization's brass is hoping Maddon and the Cubs can respond with a division crown and going deeper into the playoffs than when they were eliminated in the National League wild-card game last October.

So what does Maddon think of the new pressure? He was asked that on the Laurence Holmes Show on Tuesday afternoon.

"Fun," Maddon said. "Absolute fun. I cannot have more fun on a daily basis. I've talked about this before and I mean this sincerely, people are throwing that word around 'pressure.' Expectations -- that's where you want to be. I don't want to be somewhere where that's not part of the culture. 

"Think about walking in the door in 2015 and not having had won the World Series yet, not having been to the playoffs in a bit and then you run through it four years in a row. Again, I think a lot of this narrative is very skewed. A lot of it's misunderstood. And if I try to defend myself, I think it comes across as making excuses, so I refuse to do that."

The Cubs are off to an ugly 1-3 start after an 8-0 loss to the Braves on Monday night in which they committed six fielding errors. Maddon hopes the Cubs can flush that outing and rebound in their next one, though he wishes it would come Tuesday instead of a day later Wednesday. The teams are off Tuesday.

As for the bigger picture, Maddon knows well that despite the Cubs' success over his first four seasons as manager, what happens in 2019 will ultimately define whether he's retained or let go.

"I'm pretty happy with what we've done over the last four years," Maddon said. "I think if you had written this script before I arrived, I think almost 100 percent of the folks would've been happy with that script. I get that and I don't lose sight of that. I know where my focus is. It's on my guys. It's on my guys every day."