We may be able to stop discussing Joe Maddon’s future as a hypothetical as of Sunday morning, by which point his status as Cubs manager should be resolved one way or the other. He and Theo Epstein will be meeting Saturday night to finally discuss what will be happening at the end of the season, Maddon shared with the media ahead of their next-to-last game.
“Just to discuss everything right now moving forward, that kind of stuff,” Maddon explained. “We haven’t had any kind of a talk yet about any of this. I mean that sincerely. So we will tonight.”
Epstein has deflected any questions about Maddon’s status to this point, understandably choosing to avoid saying anything definitive. Maddon has expressed optimism on more than one occasion, the latest which including him saying the decision to return would be mutual. He walked that back a few hours later, however, saying that his optimism was about his future in general. His wistful talk over the last few days has only served to fuel speculation that his time in Chicago is at an end.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic went so far as to say that the Cubs should have fired Maddon last year, which is pretty bold and seems to indicate that he perhaps has some insight into the team’s thinking. Then there was the report, also from Rosenthal, that the Angels would be willing to fire Brad Ausmus in order to hire Maddon. If, that is, Maddon indeed becomes a free agent. A more conspiratorial man might think Maddon’s agent has been doing a little work behind the scenes.
Anyhow, it sounds as though we’re going to know whether or not Maddon will return by Sunday morning. Maybe sooner if any media members are skulking around and putting their empty whiskey glasses to the wall of the meeting room. If this is indeed the end, I hope Maddon and Epstein both go through Sunday’s game with matching hangovers from celebrating what they’ve done over the last five seasons. The mistakes are plentiful and obvious, but the unprecedented success can’t be denied.