The Chicago Tribune has an interesting piece up, talking to Cubs manager Joe Maddon about his interview with former Twins GM Terry Ryan in 2014 as part of Minnesota’s managerial search. It has been reported in the past the two sides met, though I’ve never really seen any details on exactly what transpired — until now. Maddon, of course, ended up taking the Cubs job while the Twins hired Paul Molitor.
In the wake of Ryan being fired Monday, Maddon discussed how the meeting went, with some interesting quotes from Maddon that will pique the interests of Twins fans.
“After our conversation, I thought we’d known each other for 20 years. We starting talking about true baseball stuff. There was no overt concern about the sabermetric component or numbers.”
That speaks to Ryan’s presence and humanity — but also his baseball approach. That must have been a change for Maddon — who was coming from Tampa Bay, which uses sabermetrics arguably as much as any team in baseball, while the Twins (at least at the time) lagged in that department, per this item from 2014.
Later, Maddon praised the Giants for succeeding using a more old-school approach, but added:
“If you choose not to remain contemporary, at some point you’re going to deem yourself unemployable. The group that fights trends or change, eventually that expiration date is going to come up. But if you’re willing to attempt to understand what’s happening now, and possibly more what you had learned into what’s going on now, then you remain employable. I’ve said that before and said that again.”
While it’s oversimplifying things to say Ryan lost his job because he didn’t embrace change, Maddon’s take also isn’t wrong.