Hoyer: Players Taking Onus 'Bodes Well' For 2nd Half

Kris Bryant mounted a passionate defense of Joe Maddon during the All-Star break.

Mully & Haugh Show
July 11, 2019 - 1:42 pm

(670 The Score) Taking a moment to reflect during the All-Star break, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant mounted a passionate defense of manager Joe Maddon, telling the Chicago Tribune that the burden falls on the players to turn their inconsistencies around and adding that Maddon had done "everything right for us."

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That was music to the ears of general manager Jed Hoyer.

"People like Kris and Anthony (Rizzo) and a bunch of guys that have been here for awhile, we can have those discussions," Hoyer said. "And I think that's really meaningful. I think Kris is taking a lot of responsibility on the players, and I think that's a great thing. I think it bodes well for the second half."

While there's been plenty of speculation about Maddon's future as he works in a lame-duck season and the Cubs sit at 47-43 at the break, Hoyer has been pleased with Maddon's approach and work. The Cubs sit in first place in the NL Central, a half-game up on the Brewers.

"Joe has been incredibly active and engaged this year," Hoyer said. "There's no question about that. I think he and Kris have always had a really strong relationship. That's the manager that he walked into his office the first day back when we were in the old clubhouse (when Bryant debuted in 2015). I think they've always had a strong bond. I think Joe has always been a sounding board for him. Buy yeah, we're all in this together. I think that's the most important takeaway of all of this, is that we're all constantly having discussions about how to improve, how to get out of this rut right now -- whether it's Theo (Epstein), Joe, me, our players that have been here for a long time. One of the best parts of continuity is that you can fall back on shared experiences."

At the All-Star festivities, Bryant had Maddon's back.

"We have to play better to show that he deserves to be here," Bryant told the Tribune. "A lot of that falls on us. We just haven’t performed the way we should. I can think of a handful of ballgames that we should’ve won, and that whole narrative would be much different. But it hasn’t been that way, and we hope to change it certainly so he’s not getting that blame.

"Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything else he can do. I’ve seen a big change in him, just how he approaches each and every guy. He’s way more involved. He’s talkative. He’s positive every day. I love him. I love the way he runs the team."