ST. LOUIS - Joe Maddon's days as Cubs manager may be numbered, but he isn't letting the uncertainty keep him down.
"I hate to disappoint everybody, but honestly no," Maddon joked before the Cubs 8-2 win over the Cardinals. "When you get to do this - what I'm doing everyday - you get to do it here under the circumstance of what we've done the last several years it's hard to get upset or get down. I mean I've talked to people today, friends - a really good friend, his wife has cancer today. Recently, my uncle passed away. I've got my grandkids out in Arizona. Why would you permit a game to drive you down like that? I feel really good about the future, very strong about the future whether it's on or off the baseball field."
Maddon is in the final year of his five-year contract. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has yet to say whether or not the 65-year-old skipper will be back next year, but Maddon doesn't seem concerned either way.
"Right now, you know what I'm excited about? I'm going to get in that car and drive to our pad in Hazelton, which is on this really cool little golf course - The Valley Country Club. My buddy Frankie is the golf pro. I do need some work. He'll be there to help straighten stuff out. My mom's right down the street. So is my sister. Of course, Jaye's going to be there. My buddy Willie is going to stop by. Come on. What's better than that?"
With rumors swirling, several players made a point to have private conversations with Maddon over the past few days.
"You know what? I don't think I've ever wanted to participate in the seminary, but I sometimes feel like 'Father Joe.'" Maddon said. "They read, they see. So, I've had some really interesting, insightful and in-depth conversations."