As the LA Angels finish up their first season with Brad Ausmus at the helm, reports have surfaced that the club may be willing to part ways with Ausmus if Joe Maddon becomes available.
This would be an absolutely dreadful decision for the LA Angels to make.
I get it, I really do. Joe Maddon is from here, starting his career and spending three decades with the team before moving on. And he’s won a World Series in his career with the Cubs, another impressive feat. He’s one of the more energetic managers as well.
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However, it would be a massive mistake for the Angels to fire Ausmus and to then fill the void by bringing in Maddon.
First off, and this may be disagreed upon by Angels fans, but Ausmus has been a solid manager in the first year of his Angels tenure. The team’s season was derailed by factors out of Ausmus’ control, but he had an exceptional strategy given the roster he was working with, and if they had stayed healthy the Angels could very well be playing for a Wild Card spot right now.
Second, Joe Maddon has had arguably the most talented roster in the National League 3 of the 5 years he’s been at the helm in Chicago. And yet, if you ask 100 Cubs fans, 90 of them will tell you they’ve been disappointed with the team’s standing in 4 of Maddon’s five years. So yeah, he won a World Series, but the rest of the time his team underperformed. And unlike in Ausmus’ case this year, the Cubs have stayed generally healthy the past five years.
Lastly, there’s the cost. Maddon is one of the highest paid managers in the game of baseball. While there’s a chance (key word, chance) he could take a small discount to return back where his career began, the Angels would still be required to pay both his and Ausmus’ remaining salary.
That is money that is much better spent on free agency rather than downgrading the manager position. And downgrading would be exactly what the Angels would do if they decided to replace Brad Ausmus with Joe Maddon.