Chicago Cubs: A review of the 2015 season

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Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs hire Joe Maddon

On November 3rd, the Chicago Cubs held a press conference to introduce Joe Maddon as the team’s next manager.

Maddon is known as an outside-the-box thinker. That is something that really fit with the young players.

Maddon was able to get through to the veterans on the team as well. While you would expect some of the players who have been around the block a few times to dismiss some of the things Maddon does, they, in fact, did buy into his philosophy.

Maddon went a long way to change the culture around Wrigley. He basically did not want the players to look at pressure as a bad things. He wanted them to look forward to the pressure and look at it as a good thing. As the saying goes, “Pressure either bursts pipes, or makes diamonds.” For the most part, Maddon created diamonds.

One of the biggest turnarounds Maddon was able to accomplish was changing the attitude towards the St. Louis Cardinals. That team has owned the Cubs, but late in the season, and then into the playoffs, things changed, and the Cubs eliminated the Cards in their first head-to-head appearance in the postseason.

The move did not come without controversy, though. There was this little fact that the Cubs already had a manager when Maddon was suddenly available.

Rick Renteria managed a lot of the young Cubs while they were in the minors, and he had a good rapport with them at the major-league level.

Theo Epstein had one of the brightest MLB minds available, one who had a lot of the philosophical ideas that he had, and he was not going to let him escape.

While Renteria had his team going in the right direction late last season, few would argue that he could do a better job with them that Maddon could. After just one season, Renteria had to step aside, and Maddon’s magic filled the Chicago Cubs.

From dance parties with Anthony Rizzo as DJ, to having magicians and swans in the clubhouse, Maddon seemed to push all the right buttons to help get the Cubs back into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Next: The Cubs Reel In A Big Fish