This Week’s Slice of Pie

Fridays will be reserved for Colon Cleansings, Mondays are for Pie.

Pie

As many of you already know, I’m quite a big fan of pie. I mean, who isn’t? Now, you may be surprised to find out that I will not be attacking cake in this post, but instead focusing my attention on topics that are delightful, delicious, dreamy, decadent and/or downright diggity diggity dope.

So let’s discuss Joe Maddon. A manager beloved my most, despite the fact he probably never managed your team. I wonder how many managers out there have had such ardent supporters but who root for entirely different ball clubs? There seems to be a consensus among players, fans and the media that he’s an above average manager and human being. But what I like most about Maddon, specifically with respect to his management of a very young Cubs team, is his focus on allowing his players to have fun, relax and not take everything too seriously. Why is this important? Because, it’s getting freaking serious, you guys.

This week is the biggest yet for the Cubbies. They have the Buccos starting tomorrow followed by the Red Birds through the weekend. Three playoff teams, three of the four best records in baseball, each vying to position themselves better come October. The players have to be feeling a bit of that fan pressure building. That newfound excitement growing inside thousands of semi-fans who forgot baseball existed but now have dusted off their ball caps to join the diehard fans that anguished through the previous half dozen losing seasons. Keeping a team full of so much young talent and inexperience grounded and focused on the day-to-day grind will be tougher each day as the season winds down. So far, Maddon is doing it right.  Whenever possible he’s finding opportunities for his players to unwind and destress. Case in point, Maddon arranged a Sunday Night Football viewing party.

“We’re just going to annihilate some wings in downtown Pittsburgh and watch some football,” Maddon said. Now that’s how you start your biggest week of the 2015 baseball season so far. And for that, Joe Maddon, you’ve earned this week’s slice of pie.

36 thoughts on “This Week’s Slice of Pie

  1. “Don’t ever let the pressure exceed the pleasure.”

    Maddon said that in his introductory press conference, before he bought everyone a shot and a beer.

    And yeah, 7 games in 6 days against the Pirates and Cards….two of the three best teams in the NL, with the Cubs themselves being the other….is a tough road full of implications on how the playoff seeding will shake out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe is hands down NL manager of the year for me. The way he’s molded that team into what they have become is awesome. He has exceeded any expectation I could have had.

      Like

      • I’m not even sure who the other contenders for that award would be?

        Even if the Cubs lost every single game the rest of the way, they’d still have an 82-80 record, which is a massive improvement over last year’s 73-89 disaster platter. Of course, they won’t lose every game the rest of the way. They should easily clear 90 wins. Even 95 wins isn’t out of the question, which would require them to go 13-7 the rest of the way.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the Colon cleansing does occur weekly (and you need it if you’re going to get pie all week).

    2. It seems like the thing Maddon is most known for is his player (personnel management). When we played the Cubs this year, I wasn’t super impressed with his in-game moves. Maybe he didn’t have to bother, but it wasn’t like tricky stuff. More so, it seems like Maddon gets attention for what he has his teams doing between games. Is this something that more managers need to improve on? Are we getting dangerously close to that clubhouse harmony and chemistry nonsense then? I wonder. Maybe this is key to handling rookies or losers, and isn’t so much of a concern when winning.

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    • Those two games aren’t great examples, because the wind was absolutely howling out and games got lopsided quickly. There’s not really a lot managers can do in those situations.

      I wouldn’t say he’s the best in-game tactician around today….leaving the right-handed Grimm in the game to face two left-handed pinch hitters Howard and Bogusevic in the 7th of Saturday’s game still has me stumped. But on the other side of that coin, he can only use who he has on his roster….and the Cubs don’t have a true LOOGY. Rosscup is shit and Richard/Wada are both long-relievers and/or spot starters. I suspect the Cubs were looking for someone to fill that role before the trading deadline, but just couldn’t find a good fit.

      I do think he excels at player development, which is a different thing than clubhouse chemistry. I was actually writing up a thing kinda-sorta-related to this idea, but I don’t want to flood the site with Maddon stuff, so I’ll wait a few days before I post it.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I already have weekly calendar reminders to award a slice a pie each Monday and cleanse our collective colons every Friday. Feel free to nominate potential pie recipients each week.

        2. Thinking about posts that relate to the same topic…i.e. two Maddon posts, let’s do our best to link each other’s blog post that way we are not all writing in a vacuum.

        3. I’m also total fine giving my email out to the administrators on this site, so perhaps we can get an email group going to better coordinate future posts. I’ll leave that up to you guys and how you feel about that.

        4. Pie 4 lyfe

        Liked by 2 people

  2. And yet another great feature debuts. First off, I prefer pie to cake. I have no problem with cake, mind you, but pie is just much more interesting to me. Secondly, please keep the monday morning slice coming. This is the first thing that has made me wake up at my desk today.

    Liked by 2 people

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