Angels Fire Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon
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The Los Angeles Angels have fired manager Joe Maddon, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. The move comes in the midst of a 12-game losing streak by the Angels. Within the context of the preseason hype surrounding the team, it is a surprise move. However, with the team in free fall and now well behind the Houston Astros in the AL West, getting rid of Maddon is likely a last ditch effort by the Angels to recover from this tailspin. Third-base coach Phil Nevin will take over as interim manager.

Joe Maddon Fired

The decision to fire Maddon came as a result of the Angels losing their grip on the season. Los Angeles has lost 12 in a row to fall to 27–29. They are now eight and a half games behind Houston and only one and a half games above fourth place in the AL West. It is a far cry from their high-water mark of 24–13 on May 15th, when they were tied with Houston for the division lead.

 

Maddon’s Angels Tenure

Maddon was in his third season at the helm in Anaheim, the last year of his contract. His hiring followed a successful tenure as manager of the Chicago Cubs, during which the North Siders ended their 108-year championship drought in 2016. Taking the reins with the Angels was something of a homecoming, since Maddon spent 12 seasons as a coach with them from 1994 to 2005. This included two brief stints as their interim manager in 1996 and 1999.

While the Angels fell short of the postseason in Maddon’s first two years, the team entered 2022 with heightened expectations. This was supposed to be the year the Angels returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. After all, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani both came into the season fully healthy. However, an occasionally struggling pitching staff and tough luck in close games caused the wheels to come off. In the last two weeks, the Angels have fallen out of playoff position, even within the new wild card system. Maddon seems hardly to blame for this. The Angels have tried and failed to build a better rotation and supporting cast around Trout and Ohtani. But with the season spiraling out of control, there evidently needed to be a scapegoat, and they got one today.

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Players/Managers Mentioned:

Joe Maddon, Phil Nevin, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani