(CBS) Joe Maddon was introduced as the 54th manager in the history of the Cubs on Monday, saying he embraces the huge challenge of bringing a World Series title to Clark and Addison.
Here are a handful of random nuggets from the press conference…
Maddon wants to live in downtown Chicago
Ever the unconventional type, Maddon lived in a luxury RV in a campground for part of 2013 while he managed the Rays. In Chicago, he wants to live downtown.
“Your city’s wonderful,” Maddon told a throng of media members. “I love Chicago.
“I want to live somewhere downtown. I live the energy, I like the vibe. I love it. Like the energy. I’m not going to hide. I don’t want a gated community, I don’t want a country club. I want to be right in the middle of everything. I want to feel everything.”
Maddon’s an avid bike rider as well, and a trip from downtown to Wrigley Field would be about five miles — definitely an option in nice weather.
Maddon met with Epstein, Hoyer outside his RV
When the Cubs went to interview Maddon recently, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer made the trip to Pensacola, Fla., where they gathered outside his RV and talked about philosophy and building trust. It sounds like it was about as laid-back as it could get.
“It wasn’t a campfire, but it was a nice evening,” Maddon said. “The sun was setting really well. It was in the back of the Winnebago (RV). There was a little beach. The sun was setting, it was getting kind of cool. Theo needed a jacket. Jaye (his wife) ran in for a couple more beers.”
Maddon has an affinity for Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is considered a treasure by many, an old dump to others. It’s a “cathedral” in Maddon’s eyes and a big draw why he wanted to come to Chicago.
“When he played here with the Rays (earlier this season), that was my first experience at Wrigley Field,” Maddon said. “I had ridden my bicycle around it was I was with the Angels (in the 1990s). One of the games … I was taking a pitcher out of the game. I’m walking out to the mound to get the ball and give it to the next guy, and then I’m walking back in, and you have to understand something about your ballpark. I think you do. But it is magical. I’m walking back in and I’m looking up at the sky, and it’s perfectly blue. Not kind of blue — perfectly blue. And the rafters, the way you have your light standards set up there and the people themselves in the stands, and I had this flashback to Gladiator — like this computer-enhanced situation that’s perfect. It was this perfect moment. There’s times I tell myself, ‘Shut up and just watch what’s going on and observe what’s going on and really appreciate a moment.’ Because we have a tendency in our lives to go through a moment quickly. So I did, I slowed it down. And I’m telling you, that ballpark is magical.”
Sometimes, less is more
The old adage about being the first one to arrive at work and the last one to leave? Maddon scoffs at that. He won’t be toiling 16 hours a day at the ballpark, and he doesn’t want his players to either.
“I won’t be there for a 7 o’clock game at 2 o’clock or 1 o’clock in the afternoon,” Maddon said. “I promise you I won’t. I have a life outside baseball. I don’t like sitting in concrete bunkers drinking coffee and watching TV. I’m not into that. The players don’t have to be the first one there and the last one to leave to impress me. Not at all. That was nothing to do with winning. Zero. As the season’s in progress, I like our guys to work less instead of more. I like to take less batting practice.”
Maddon preaches consistent attitude
In recent years, the Cubs have just been a downright poor baseball team. But over the years, they’ve also fielded some quality clubs that made the playoffs, only to wilt under the spotlight of October baseball.
Renowned for overseeing light-hearted antics like themed road trips and inviting everyone/everything from birds to a python to snakes to a magician into a locker room, Maddon has some advice to fix that.
“Don’t ever let the pressure exceed the pleasure,” Maddon said. “That’s on the top of my lineup card every night.
“Don’t ever forget while we’re here. This is baseball. This is a game, and this is entertainment. So at the end of the day, when we’re playing these games that are very meaningful in September and October, I want them to go out there and play the game as though it were March 15, June 15, August 15 and then hopefully October 15. Don’t ever change the way you play the game.”