Maddon On Exit: Cubs Wanted 'To Change Everything'

"There was just, you can say, philosophical differences," Maddon says.

670 The Score Staff
February 11, 2020 - 10:56 am
Categories: 

(670 The Score) In his most revealing comments yet about his exit from the Cubs, former manager Joe Maddon cited the front office's desire to "control more of what was occurring in just about everything" as the reason he left Chicago after arguably the most successful five-year run in the organization's history, he told ESPN.com.

Maddon and the Cubs parted ways in late September after his contract expired and wasn't renewed. Their divorce came after the Cubs disappointingly went 84-78 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014. 

It was long before that when Maddon realized the writing was on the wall. Ahead of the 2019 campaign, the front office took a well-documented more involved role in the team's approach on a day-to-day basis. That's when Maddon knew his methods were being phased out, so he wasn't at all surprised president of baseball operations Theo Epstein eventually decided to turn to a new manager.

"Philosophically, Theo needed to do what he needed to do separately," Maddon told ESPN.com. "At some point, I began to interfere with his train of thought a little bit. And it's not that I'm hardheaded. I'm inclusive. But when I started there -- '15, '16, '17 -- it was pretty much my methods. And then all of a sudden, after '18 going into '19, they wanted to change everything."

Maddon maintains a good relationship with Epstein but didn't see eye to eye with him professionally by the end of their partnership.

"There was just, you can say, philosophical differences," Maddon said of his relationship with Epstein. "But he and I are still good friends. And I like the man a lot. It was just time for him to get someone else and time for me to work somewhere else. That's all. A five-year shelf life in Chicago is almost equivalent to five to 10 somewhere else. At the end of the day, man, there's nothing to lament there. That was the most successful five years that the Cubs have ever had."

Maddon quickly landed a job as the Angels' new manager. They went 72-90 in 2019 but have plenty of star power with center fielder Mike Trout, pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and the signing of third baseman Anthony Rendon.