Joe Maddon just won the World Series as manager of the Chicago Cubs, their first championship since 1908. Maddon made fundamental mistakes and was lucky they didn't give the title to the Cleveland Indians.
The worst were Maddon's use of monster closer Aroldis Chapman. In game six Maddon wasted Chapman, having him protect a 7-2 lead. In game seven, the next day, Maddon replaced his starting pitcher in the fifth inning with his best starting pitcher, Jon Lester. Oh, and for extra added stupidity, Maddon replaced his catcher to make Lester comfortable. Maddon had been a catcher in his minor league only playing career and I guess never got hurt and had to be replaced. Cubs had a third catcher who was later used when Maddon pinch ran for catcher number two.
Lester had two days rest and cruised into the eighth inning and struck out the first two batters, then allowed an infield single. Cubs led 6-3. As Maddon waddled to the mound I thought Lester should defy him, something I've advocated that some pitchers do when the manager is obviously being a tight assed moron.
Lester should have kept the ball and screamed at Maddon: get your ugly ass off my mound. That would have saved Maddon from looking like the moron he is. No matter what Chapman did, it was a stupid move. Chapman allowed three runs before finally getting that third out. 6-6.
The game went into extra innings. Then there was a rain delay. Finally, Cubs won 8-7. Joe Maddon got lucky. Very lucky. So did general Cubs manager Theo Epstein, who signed Jason Heyward to that ridiculous mega contract before the season.
Does Epstein want to take the chance that Joe Maddon will mess up again in the 2017 tournament? How much luck do the Cubs have left? They just used up a century's worth in one game.