To say Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s stint with the franchise has been a success would be a massive understatement. Since the Cubs hired the former Tampa Bay skipper in November 2014, they’ve amassed a sterling regular-season record of 469-335 and made the playoffs four consecutive times. Undoubtedly, though, the greatest triumph during Maddon’s days atop the Cubs’ dugout has been the World Series title they won in 2016, ending a 108-year drought for the North Siders. It’s likely Maddon will always be a beloved Cubs figure as a result of that victory and the rest of his accomplishments with the organization, but after a half-decade, the 65-year-old’s tenure may be winding down.
Although he’s in the last year of his contract, Maddon said just last month that he expects to manage the Cubs again in 2020. However, that was before a late-season collapse by Chicago, which led the NL Central race by two games over Milwaukee at the time of Maddon’s comments. Now, not only are the Cubs out of contention in the division with a week left in the season, but they’re very likely to miss the playoffs for the first time during the Maddon era. At 82-74, they’re seven games back of the archrival Cardinals in the Central and four behind the Brewers and Nationals in the wild-card hunt. With the season on the line, the Cubs have dropped six straight games, all but knocking themselves out of the race in the process.
Thanks in large part to their recent skid, the Cubs have gone a dismal 9-12 in September. It would surely be unfair to solely blame Maddon for that – they’ve dealt with injuries to the likes of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Cole Hamels, after all, and big-money closer Craig Kimbrel can’t seem to buy a save – but the Cubs could nonetheless elect to go in a different direction at manager. Barring a last-second surge (plus a horrible finish for the Brewers or Nats), president of baseball operations Theo Epstein at least figures to seriously make over the Cubs’ roster during the offseason. Do you expect a change in the dugout to accompany that?
(Poll link for app users)