At 60, the skipper is steering a new club, one with a long, long history of failure. Will he be buying a round for the patient fans of Chicago's North Side?
DAN PATRICK:How much was the tab when you paid for drinks for media members during your introductory press conference at the Cubby Bear?
November 24, 2014
JOE MADDON: Nothing. It was horrible. The media folks did not want to drink during the day. My plan is to pick a game after a Cubs win, head over there and do it for the fans one day. I'm gonna try to pick one of the lower-attendance days.
DP:How tough was the decision to leave Tampa?
JM: It was not easy. I had no idea this was even on the horizon. I'm just driving my RV back from Pennsylvania, and all of a sudden [then Rays GM] Andrew Friedman leaves and I'm shown this two-week window of opportunity to try to carve out my future. It was not something I had thought about a whole lot. I had to process a lot of stuff quickly. If you want to do that, get in an RV and drive across the country because you have plenty of time to think.
DP:How surprised are you that the Rays want to look into tampering charges?
JM: I was surprised. It was really unfortunate. I was totally oblivious until this popped up. I had no plans [to leave]. I had already been talking to Andrew about next year. I have all my Rays notes regarding next year written in my iPad. All of a sudden this thing just happened. It's unfortunate that it's turned into that.
DP:How do you manage expectations in Chicago?
JM: I don't think it should be any different than anywhere else. I'm going to preach a lot about staying in the present tense. Patience. I know that people have been patient for over a century. I understand how difficult that may be. But it's about how you approach the day.
DP:How sensitive are you to criticism?
JM: Not [very]. Everybody has a right to their opinion. I know I'm going to be heavily criticized when things don't go well. I understand the entertainment component of what we do. I try to avoid reading a lot or watching a lot of TV. Both good and bad. I don't want to hear how great I am. If you want to tell me how bad I am, it doesn't bother me. I'm sure the thickness of my skin is going to be tested this season at some point.
DP:How attractive is the historical upside?
JM: Highly attractive. The Rays had a lot of futility prior to 2006, kind of a shortened version of what the Cubs have gone through. I'm into that.
DP:Are you going to take the RV to spring training?
JM: It's already there.
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