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