Now two major league skippers have been fired this year as the LA Angels decided to axe Joe Maddon. They worded it as “relieved of his duties,” but it’s not the military. He was fired.
The justification is that the Angels hadn’t had a winning record in his 2+ seasons there. Of course, only this season have they had a roster in which optimism was warranted. Entering today they were on a 12 game losing streak. Obviously that’s not ideal, but most team front offices don’t overreact to a slump, and that seems like what this is—an overreaction.
I wrote in the Joe Girardi post that managers get too much credit for winning and too much blame for losing. I stand by that. However, like Girardi, Maddon has a proven track record of knowing what he’s doing. He was the Rays manager when they stopped being Devil Rays and became AL pennant winners in 2008. He was the Cubs manager when they ended a 108 year championship drought, winning the World Series in 2016. He was the Angels’ bench coach when they won the 2002 World Series. If he wants to manage another team, he will almost certainly get the opportunity…and don’t be surprised if it goes better than the time in Anaheim as manager did.
Meanwhile, the interim manager of the Angels will be Phil Nevin. It’s his first shot at being a manager. He joined the Angels coaching staff this year after three seasons as a coach with the Yankees.