(CHICAGO) — It did not take long for Joe Maddon to endear himself to Cubs fans. In his introductory press conference last fall, Maddon offered everyone there a shot and a beer (“The Hazleton Way”, a reference to his hometown in Pennsylvania). He also predicted the Cubs would make the playoffs in his first season.
Four and a half months into the 2015 campaign, Maddon looks prescient. In his first year in town, the veteran manager has the Cubs three-games up in the second Wild Card and in line to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
But Maddon is much more than playoff predictions. His eccentric, out-of-the-box style makes him unlike any other manager in the game. He brings magicians in to the clubhouse after a losing streak. He wears full catcher’s gear to his post-game press conference to lighten the mood. With the Cubs entering Thursday on a three-game skid, Maddon once again shook things up, declaring it “American Legion Week” and cancelling batting practice for their series with the Braves and not letting the players enter the clubhouse before 5 p.m. to give them more time away from the ballpark.
Unorthodox? Yes. Quirky? You bet. Successful? His resume speaks for itself.
Sports Feed host Josh Frydman sat down with Maddon before Thursday’s game at Wrigley to discuss the manager’s upcoming charity boxing event, how he handles his young players during their first pennant race, scoreboard watching and much more.
Check out their interview below.