Theo Epstein: ‘No problems’ with Joe Maddon’s comments on Cubs future
Joe Maddon recently expressed optimism that his long-term future with the Chicago Cubs is secure, and despite rumors to the contrary, it does not appear team brass is upset with the skipper going public with his thoughts.
Maddon’s uncertain future with the Cubs organization has been the source of conjecture going back to last season. With the veteran manager in the final year of his contract, speculation unsurprisingly has increased in 2019.
Earlier this week, Maddon said his confidence is “very high” that he will be back with the Cubs in 2020 and beyond despite his current lame-duck status. With the Cubs taking the stance that no determination on Maddon’s future will be made until after the season, a report surfaced that suggested the Cubs front office was bothered by Maddon’s comments.
“They [Cubs front office] are not happy with Joe Maddon saying what he said where he said and when he said it, and this is a power move by Joe,” 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein said. “They are unhappy that Joe didn’t honor the handshake agreement not to talk about it.”
Cubs president Theo Epstein has since denied that the team was upset over Maddon stating such things publicly.
“Totally baseless,” Epstein said via text, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. “We had no problems with Joe’s comments. He has to talk to you guys twice a day and does a great job with it.”
The Cubs, despite a 64-55 record and a one-game lead in the NL Central, have been viewed as something of a disappointment this season amid bouts of underwhelming play, in particular on the road.
That said, Cubs players, specifically Kris Bryant, have rallied around their occasionally embattled manager. While support in the clubhouse will not be the only factor used by the Cubs to determine whether or not to retain Maddon, it can’t hurt. Postseason success in some capacity, however, would presumably assure that Maddon is back in Chicago next season.