Cubs ax Renteria to clear way for Maddon

Chicago, IL ( – The Chicago Cubs officially fired manager
Rick Renteria on Friday as the team moves closer to finalizing its goal of
making Joe Maddon its next skipper.

Though a formal announcement has yet to be made, the Cubs acknowledged their
intentions of hiring Maddon in the press release that confirmed Renteria’s

“Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon — who may be as well suited as
anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us — had
become a free agent,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said in a statement. “We
confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge
the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be
loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to
win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has
priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.

“While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation,
we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. (General
manager) Jed (Hoyer) flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of
our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I
provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will
indeed make a change.”

Renteria produced a 73-89 record in his lone season on the job, an improvement
over the 66 and 61-win totals Chicago totaled in two years under predecessor
Dale Sveum. The 52-year-old was offered another position in the Cubs’
organization but is expected to decline.