CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs fans are expressing appreciation for former manager Joe Maddon.
The Cubs parted ways with him after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in his five-year tenure.
On Monday, fans were at the players' entrance at Wrigley field hoping to see him one last time. For 16-year-old Eli Cohen, Maddon will always be the leader who transformed the lovable losers into champions.
“I was able to meet Joe, and snap a picture with him, and i’m hoping i’ll be able to meet him and get him to sign it,” said Cohen.
After five seasons, the Cubs decided not to renew the contract of the popular manager.
Maddon won more than 58 percent of his games as the Cubs skipper, that includes four straight playoff appearances, three straight trips to the National League Championship series, and a World Series title.
"I think it’s sad after winning the World Series over 450 wins in five years, but they want change so we’ve got to roll with it," said fan Patrick Curth.
“He brought the team together and made the team more excited about winning games, and brought a sense of camaraderie to the city for the Cubs,” said fan Ryanne Bruns.
“Initially I was disappointed, but I know he’s going to be a legend forever," said fan Zachary Walters.
“Both his manager style, and his quirky personality traits. It’s really easy to criticize him, but at the same time you have to recognize all he’s done for the Cubs," said Cohen.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein held a news conference Monday afternoon.
"You are likely to see change in this organization," Epstein said.
Epstein also said fan favorite David Ross is on the list of managerial candidates and that no one on the roster is "untouchable."