The Rundown: Joe Maddon Introduction Monday at Cubby Bear, Renteria to Get Shot at Twins Job?
After a little more than a week of rumors and excitement, the Cubs will be introducing new manager Joe Maddon at 2 p.m. on Monday. Because Wrigley Field is literally full of holes right now, the news conference will be taking place across Clark Street, at the Cubby Bear.
The Cubs announced that they had fired Rick Renteria as manager on Friday. I was very impressed with how Theo Epstein handled the situation with his statement.
To me, Epstein sums up the situation perfectly right here:
We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.
Renteria deserved to be back, for sure, and Epstein acknowledges that. But the Cubs absolutely had to take advantage of this opportunity.
With Maddon now officially in the fold, what will his coaching staff look like? Jesse Rogers reports the main coaching staff will be back, with some “small” changes. Gordon Wittenmyer says third-base coach Gary Jones, a Renteria guy, will be replaced, but no decisions have been made yet.
From the Rays’ side, it sounds like the remaining Tampa Bay coaches will be staying put — with the possible exception of bench coach Dave Martinez. If Martinez doesn’t get the Rays’ managerial opening, he may opt out of his contract, according to Mark Tompkin from the Tampa Bay Times.
An interesting aspect of Monday’s Maddon announcement taking place at the Cubby Bear: The owner of the bar also owns two rooftop buildings, which Bruce Levine is reporting will soon be sold to the Ricketts family. This signals that other rooftops will most likely follow suit, Levine says.
Former Cubs, and current Rays, broadcaster Dewayne Staats joined the Spiegel and Mannelly Show on 670 the Score on Friday and provided some great insight into Joe Maddon.
One of the things he focused on was Maddon’s ability to make lineups more versatile. Because of the wind, Wrigley Field can play as two completely different ballparks. So Maddon may use separate lineups for when the wind is blowing in and when it is blowing out, Staats suggested.
The discussion on versatility got me excited thinking about how Maddon may handle a player like Arismendy Alcantara. I could see him being used all over the diamond, playing center field one game and then on the infield the next. I have a feeling Maddon will have some fun deploying Alcantara.
Staats also believes that Dave Martinez may leave Tampa if he is not given the managing job, and said he sees Gabe Kapler as having the inside track for the position.
One last tidbit to come out of the interview: Maddon grew up a Cardinals fan. Here is where I’ll stop short of throwing out some sort of Cardinals conspiracy.
* Rick Renteria may get an interview for the Minnesota Twins’ managing vacancy, according to Bob Nightendale. It would be nice to see Renteria get another gig somewhere. Obviously, his options are pretty limited right now, as the Twins have the only opening at manager at the moment.
* The Cubs will not be announcing an extension of Theo Epstein’s contract at the Joe Maddon news conference on Monday, Patrick Mooney writes. Epstein has two years remaining on his contract. It certainly would make sense to make his contract line up with the new manager, but it appears that won’t be happening quite yet.
* Peter Gammons relays a pretty neat story about a Jackie Robinson West coach who played under Maddon when he was part of the Angels organization.
* In Halloween awesomeness, Javier Baez becomes Manny Ramirez: