That didn’t take long.
Just over an hour after the Angels announced Joe Maddon had been fired as the team’s manager, the former skipper broke his silence, calling out the team’s general manager and the state of baseball analytics on his way out the door.
In an interview with The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Maddon said he was surprised by the decision to let him go and felt the nobody on the team expected it to happen. He added that he believed general manager Perry Minasian was “in a tough spot,” and that the players and coaches were “100 percent” with Maddon.
“Going through a tough time like we were right now, everybody does, it was just exacerbated,” Maddon told Rosenthal. “Obviously, 12 [straight] losses is no fun for anybody. But there are people who get it, who can easily see why.
It’s not to point the finger at just one particular person. We just needed to get the guys back on track, get a couple of wins, get the mojo going again. But we didn’t get that opportunity.
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Maddon said he believed he and Minasian worked well together and was trying to be as helpful with the second-year general manager, but called out the overuse of analytics in the sport.
The former Angels skipper said he is in favor of them, “but not to the point where everybody wants to shov it down your throat.” Maddon said he believed “real baseball people” were impacted by the increase in analytics.
You’re unable to just go to the ballpark and have some fun and play baseball. It’s too much controlled by front offices these days.
“I actually talked to Perry about this. This isn’t anything new. I told him that. I said you just try to reduce the information and really be aware of when it’s time to stay out of the way. In general, the industry has gone too far in that direction and that’s part of the reason people aren’t into our game as much as they have been.”
The Angels have been mired in a 12-game losing streak that has sunk what had been an otherwise promising start to the season. Los Angeles, at 27-17, was one game back of the AL West-leading Astros on May 24 and had a run differential of plus-53, the second-best in the American League. Before games on Tuesday, the Angels sit 8.5 games behind the Astros, are 27-29 and have a run differential of only plus-10.
Maddon’s tenure with the Angels ends with a 157-172 record and a failure to reach the playoffs or post a winning record in any of the three years he was at the helm. During his previous two managerial positions, the Rays and Cubs, Maddon took both to the World Series, claiming a title with Chicago in 2016.
Maddon said he had been in situations like the losing streak before and his teams have “climbed out of them.” He explained injuries, bullpen struggles and cold bats at the plate led to the losing streak.
“I don’t want to denigrate anybody. But just look at it,” Maddon said.
You could easily determine the reasons. My coaching staff was outstanding, not just good. The players, we’ve got some guys hurt. But the guys who are there, they’re wonderful to work with. They’re spectacular. It was a great clubhouse. It was a great clubhouse. There was no dissension, no finger-pointing, none of it.
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Maddon said he believes the team is capable of turning things around, and that the struggles are “just one of those things you go through.”
As for his future, he said he still plans on managing in the future.