Per reports, the LA Angels will be interviewing Joe Maddon on Monday. Hopefully, they won’t be interviewing their next manager.
We all have watched the saga between the LA Angels and Maddon unfold. First it started with rumors that Maddon would be relieved of his duties with the Cubs. Then, reports surfacing that the Angels would consider dumping Brad Ausmus after just one season to sign Maddon. Then Maddon was fired. Ausmus, unfortunately, followed shortly after.
And here we are.
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The Angels are interviewing Joe Maddon for their open manager position today, Monday. And while it seems inevitable, I really hope Joe Maddon isn’t the next manager for the LA Angels.
And it isn’t because of anything Joe Maddon did on the field, it’s because of the human being Joe Maddon is. As a fan of the Angels, if the team does sign him, it will be tougher to root for them to win and find success than prior to his hiring.
“Anybody can write anything these days.”
That was part of Joe Maddon’s response on a radio show to accusations made towards Addison Russell by his ex-wife. She detailed physical abuse by Russell during their marriage in the disturbing blog post, and when asked about it, that’s how Maddon responded.
In baseball, few things are a bigger problem than domestic abuse. It has been a problem in the league for decades, but the league is facing more and more pressure for stricter punishment in abuse cases.
To dismiss an extremely troubling and personal blog post made by Russell’s ex-wife is, quite simply, an awful thing to do. To make matters worse, he wanted nothing to do with the matter following that interview, completely ignoring it. That’s not what a leader of a clubhouse does.
This wasn’t the first time Joe Maddon brushes off a troubling incident either. In 2016, the Cubs traded for Arnoldis Chapman as they pursued, and eventually won, a World Series. Earlier that season, Chapman had been suspended 30 games for a domestic violence incident in which he allegedly choked his girlfriend and fired eight gun shots in his home.
Maddon’s response when asked about his newly acquired closer?
“We’ve all been less than perfect.” Maddon then added that he “doesn’t assume badly of anybody for the first time”.
I mean, what? Maddon is saying he quite literally doesn’t assume bad of someone suspended by the MLB for domestic violence… because he hasn’t met him before?
This is the person the Angels will be interviewing Monday, and likely hiring to be the leader of their team going into 2020.
My disdain towards Maddon isn’t just because of his on-field performance, but because of the person he’s repeatedly shown to be when faced with adversity. Holding people accountable is part of being a leader, and Maddon hasn’t done that in the most critical points of his managing career.