Cubs, Maddon moving in the right direction

Cubs, Maddon moving in the right direction

By Mubarak Salami

A revolving door is composed of three or four doors that rest on a central shaft and rotate on a vertical axis typically within a cylindrical enclosure. These doors allow large numbers of people to pass in and out.

For the Chicago Cubs, the managerial position has been one big revolving door in recent years. Individuals have come and gone with no change in the stability or certainty surrounding the organization.

However, with the hiring of manager Joe Maddon, there is hope around the organization and its fan base that perhaps this time the new guy is here to stay.

The Cubs have had five managers in the past six seasons. The last thing they need is another one that walks in the door just to walk quickly out of it.

Luckily for Cubs fans like me, Maddon might be the guy they have been looking for.

The 60-year-old skipper, known for signature black, thick-rimmed glasses, will give Chicago a presence at the managerial position they have had not had before. A thought that should bring hope to all those associated with the team, seeing as the presence the managers of the past 100 years brought to the table wasn’t good enough.

Maddon is different. He is steadfast in his radical approach to the game yet, has an open-mind and is willing to tailor his style of play to the strengths of his players.

Maddon is also a personality. He will bring creativity to Chicago. With his unconventional defensive shifts and wacky clubhouse shenanigans, Maddon will bring excitement to the team and the city. During his last stint, as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon made headlines several times over the years for his peculiar clubhouse antics. This included bringing in a 20-foot-long python, penguins and a salsa band into the clubhouse at various times. It’s safe to assume his carefree, spontaneous attitude will create an easy-going environment for his team and its fans. In fact, on Monday afternoon Maddon concluded his introductory press conference by offering residents of Chicago a free round of drinks on him at The Cubby Bear, a popular bar next to Wrigely Field.

While Maddon likes to have his fair share of fun, he isn’t all play and no work. He is a gifted manager with a track record of success.

In his nine years with Tampa Bay, he led them to the playoffs four times. That is a feat he can be proud of, considering he was competing in one of the more competitive divisions in baseball (the AL East) while managing a team that had never made it the postseason before. During his eight years managing the Rays, Maddon led the organization to its first-ever postseason victory and World Series appearance. He also won the AL Manager of the Year award twice during that span.

With his impressive resume, Maddon gives residents on the north side of Chicago a reason to he hopeful. Hope is something that’s been scarce around Wrigley as of late.

In Tampa Bay, Maddon proved that he works well with young talent. He took a talented farm system and turned it into success on the field. He will have to do the same in Chicago.

With an abundance of budding stars, including Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro among others, Chicago has the personnel to be a championship contender. The question remains how fast can the team get there?

As a Chicagoan and die-hard Cubs’ fan, I am tired of losing. Better yet, I’m tired of not even being competitive. I know success takes time and the hiring of Maddon is just one step in that direction, but every step counts. After 106 years, you begin to realize that.

I don’t know if next year is our year but I do know that our year or years are coming soon, with Maddon leading the way.

Maybe it’s just me but I think that revolving door just came to a screeching halt.

Mubarak is a senior in LAS. Follow [email protected] and on Twitter @justmubar.