On Monday, former Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon interviewed with the Los Angeles Angels for their open managerial position. As we noted then, Maddon has a rich history with the organization, having served in a variety of roles -- player, coach, interim manager -- over the course of 30 years. Maddon left only when he was named manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Oftentimes, what looks good on paper doesn't feel fit as well in reality. Yet early indications have Maddon in the catbird seat for the gig. Angels owner Arte Moreno wants Maddon back, making it "very hard to envision this going another way," reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Now, that doesn't mean Maddon will be the Angels manager. General manager Billy Eppler has stated his intent for a more thorough interview process, and it's always possible that someone else blows Moreno away, or that the Angels and Maddon are unable to come to terms. But it does raise the odds in a significant way. After all, Moreno is the most powerful person in the organization, and it stands to reason his predilections are almost always met (within reason).
In addition to a nine-year reign as the Rays manager, and a five-year run with the Chicago Cubs, Maddon also had separate stints as the Angels' interim skipper. Overall, he's won 54 percent of his games, as well as two pennants and the 2016 World Series. Maddon is known foremost these days for being a skilled communicator, but deserves his share of credit for helping spur the spread of the defensive shift, among other now-prominent strategies.
The Angels finished this season 72-90 due in large part to a tattered pitching staff. Los Angeles has the makings of a solid offensive core thanks to Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and top prospect Jo Adell, who is currently hitting .296/.377/.519 in the Arizona Fall League.