The Chicago Cubs are reeling and the end of the season can’t come fast enough. The ball club is expected to miss the playoffs, and have now lost seven straight games. On Tuesday night, Chicago lost a “sloppy” game against the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2, which saw the team commit five errors during the game.
The loss comes after a four-game sweep suffered this past weekend at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the sweep isn’t the biggest Cubs talk at the moment.
According to NBC Chicago via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, manager Joe Maddon is entering the final games of a five-year contract he signed in 2015. He is not expected to be retained after this season, and it is also being reported that the favorite to replace the manager is former catcher and fellow World Series champion David Ross.
Nightengale says to NBC Chicago, “The biggest surprise in Chicago this winter will be if David Ross is not named their next manager by Thanksgiving. The Cubs have been preparing (him to be) their heir apparent, and although bench coach Mark Loretta can’t be completely ruled out, they believe Ross will be the perfect fit.”
Ross and ex-Yankees manager Joe Girardi have both been recognized as favorites to replace Maddon, in the event that his contract isn’t renewed. When asked about the situation on Thursday, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer declined to address the rumors regarding the change.
Maddon was exactly what the rebuilding franchise needed when he was hired by Chicago’s president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in 2015. The move paid off, as the Cubs were crowned World Series Champions in 2016 after beating the Cleveland Indians in seven games. However, despite a roster full of young stars that hasn’t seen much turnover, the Cubs have declined each of the past few years and now look to miss the postseason. The uncharted territory is not something fans and current players are used to.
Joe will take the fall because the team’s inconsistent play assumes the need for accountability. Despite numerous injuries plaguing the season, Maddon has managed the team in an inconsistent manner by shuffling lineups frequently. The changes often make it difficult for players to get comfortable, especially the young ones. The Cubs window to maximize the current talent on their roster is dwindling, and the potential move suggests they insist on shaking things up. Still, the manager won’t be on the market long if the separation comes to fruition, as rumors are already swirling about where the career-winner’s next stop will be…
Header Photo Credit: Chicago Sun-Times