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Joe Maddon: Cubs’ desire to ‘change everything’ led to parting of ways

Joe Maddon has opened up about the ending of his tenure with the Chicago Cubs, and the new Los Angeles Angels manager revealed that philosophical differences between himself and the organization played a significant role in his departure.

Now with time to reflect on his Chicago departure, Maddon believes the organization’s planned reorganization and overhaul meant it was time for him to go.

“It was plenty. Philosophically, [President of Baseball Operations] Theo [Epstein] needed to do what he needed to do separately,” Maddon recently told Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. “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.”

The notion that the Cubs and Maddon would part ways was viewed as nearly a foregone conclusion throughout the 2019 season, barring perhaps a remarkable, unexpected run in the postseason. The Cubs faded down the stretch, though, and failed to earn a spot in the playoffs with a third-place finish in the NL Central.

Only three years after Maddon led the Cubs to a “curse”-breaking World Series championship, the skipper and Cubs mutually decided to part ways. Both parties announced on Sept. 29 ahead of the final game of the season that Maddon’s contract would not be renewed. It was then announced on Oct. 16 that Maddon would return to the Angeles organization to become manager.

Maddon is feeling rejuvenated heading into spring training thanks to the change of scenery. After spending 1975 through 2005 in the Angels organization in some capacity — Maddon served as coach at the MLB level from 1994 to 2005, including two stints as interim manager — the 66-year-old is eager to begin the next stage of his career.

“The good thing,” Maddon said, “is I’m seeing it with first-time eyes, I’m feeling it with first-time passion, which doesn’t occur normally when you get to this point in your career or your life.”