For the first time in five years of the Joe Maddon era, the Chicago Cubs have failed to make the postseason. And that proved to be enough; entering 2019 in the final year of his current contract, the Cubs officially decided to part ways with Maddon on Sunday, proving previous reports to be accurate.
Yet Maddon had one more game left to manage on Sunday, as the Cubs faced off against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, attempting to buck the odds and prevent an NL Central clinch. Prior the game, emotions were running high, and Cubs reporter Jordan Bastian caught a photo of catcher Willson Contreras embracing Maddon with a hug in their very last game together.
It was a truly emotional moment. Maddon is the only manager Contreras has known since entering the majors in 2016, after all. That year proved to be a special one, as the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series for the first time since 1908.
Under Maddon, the Cubs have never had a losing season, even in 2019 (84-78). Overall, Maddon leaves Chicago with a 471-339 mark, a World Series title, and three NLCS appearances.
While he's out in Chicago, Maddon will have plenty of suitors this upcoming offseason.
It will certainly be weird for this Chicago Cubs team to play for a manager other than Joe Maddon. Whomever his successor may be, they will have mighty big shoes to fill.