(CBS) It was news to Joe Maddon when he was informed Friday that he’s MLB’s oldest manager.
“Really?” Maddon said on the Spiegel and Parkins Show. “Wow, how about that?”
Really. With the Nationals letting go of 68-year-old Dusty Baker after the season, the 63-year-old Maddon is the game’s elder statesman in the dugout after three seasons of leading the Cubs. Not that he feels like his personality would reflect that.
“That’s just chronologically,” Maddon said with a laugh.
What is more of a serious matter for Maddon this offseason is preparing himself for the rigors of another season. He admits that he was “beat up” when the Cubs’ season ended with an exit in the National League Championship Series, the third time in as many years that Chicago had advanced to that stage or beyond.
“It’s a physical toll, just the daily event of getting up for the (ballpark), going through the process, even as a manager or coach, not just as a player, it takes its toll on you,” Maddon said. “I think three years in a row kind of beat me up. I’m just trying to focus on body health, like so things don’t hurt. That’s where I’m at right now, just because I of course want to get back into a strong push for next year. So my focus is feeling good by the time spring training rolls around.
“I’m into the bike right now. I’m going to try to get to walk, jog, run. I got some new shoes. I want to get into that. It’s a lot of exercise.”
Maddon recently completed the third season of a five-year deal with the Cubs, who he led to a 2016 championship. On Spiegel and Parkins, he reiterated that he “no doubt, absolutely” wants to manage beyond the two years left on his deal, though he shot down the idea that he’s interested in a contract extension this offseason.
“No, I’m just interested in getting in really good shape, like I said,” Maddon said. “I mean it sincerely. The goal is to get back to the World Series again next year. I tell you, it’s a long year, and I want to be up for it mentally and physically.
“I don’t worry about contracts. I really don’t. I think you guys know me well enough right now to believe me. We do a job job, I do a good job, that stuff takes care of itself.”