He’s considered one of the best managers in baseball. Today, the Cubs introduced Joe Maddon as the 54th manager in franchise history. Maddon replaces Rick Renteria, who was hired just one year ago. In fact, Cubs President Theo Epstein said in a statement Friday that “Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we (previously) announced that he would be returning in 2015.” But things changed when Maddon exercised an opt-out clause in his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Cubs quickly began negotiating a deal with Maddon and his agent, to replace Renteria.
Maddon took over in Tampa Bay in 2006, when the team was one of the worst in baseball. The team had a winning record every year from 2008 to 2013, made the playoffs four times and went to the World Series in 2008. All of that was achieved despite a small-market payroll and the loss of key players nearly every year.
View Maddon's career timeline.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the Wrigley Field renovation project is underway. The left and right field bleachers have been demolished, making way for new seating, wider concourses, bullpens beneath the seats, and numerous outfield signs along with two video boards.
WGN Radio’s Andy Masur joins us to talk about the hiring of Joe Maddon. Masur, who worked for WGN Radio and was part of Cubs radio broadcasts from 1999 to 2007, is back in Chicago after seven years as the voice of the San Diego Padres. In addition to talking about Maddon, Masur will share his thoughts about Rick Renteria, who was a coach with the Padres before being hired by the Cubs in November 2013. And Masur has been documenting the bleacher demolition, and shares some of his photos.
View a slideshow of Masur’s photos.
Masur has been documenting the demolition of the Wrigley Field bleachers with his camera since the end of September. For anyone who hasn’t been around Wrigley lately, and who hasn’t seen any pictures, the images may be quite shocking. The new bleachers, one of the first parts of the $575 million Wrigley Field renovation project, will sit atop new stadium walls that will be moved out onto Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. There will be wider concourses, new outfield lights and concessions, and bullpens beneath the bleachers. Of course, the project also includes the much-debated outfield signs, seven in all, including two video boards. The current centerfield scoreboard and bleachers will remain.