Joe Maddon accomplished a great deal in five seasons as manager of the Chicago Cubs.
That resume helped him land on his feet as manager of the Los Angeles Angels. At his introductory press conference on Thursday, Maddon looked back and shared an element of his blue-sky wish list for the future.
"Nothing but warm fuzzies about five years in Chicago," Maddon said. "You look at the number of wins, number of losses; three straight trips to the NLCS, which means you're almost in three consecutive World Series; you do include one and win it. [In 2018] we played something like 45 of the last 46 days, those guys were absolutely gassed in the last part of that season, and then this year we just had a tougher time -- we were the bug, we weren't the windshield this year.
"But I will say this, I've already had a lot of outreach from my guys in Chicago, and wow -- I cannot be more proud of that group, I wish them nothing but the best. And the ultimate goal ... my pipe dream that we play them in a World Series and we beat them. That would be my pipe dream right there."
To get the Angels to the World Series, he'll first have to get the franchise back to the postseason. That hasn't happened since a short series loss to the Kansas City Royals in 2014.
Maddon, who previously managed the Tampa Bay Rays, signed a three-year deal to return to the Angels' organization where he earned his coaching chops.
"My intent is to work with these guys as long as they'll have me," Maddon said. "I couldn't feel more fortunate. I'm really excited."
Maddon arrived in Chicago and shrugged off the 108-year World Series drought after helping Tampa Bay, a franchise that had never been to a postseason game, claim the American League pennant in 2008.
General manager Billy Eppler, after listening to Maddon's comments about his honest recruiting pitch to free agents, said the Angels plan to be aggressive and realize the core of talent -- which includes perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout -- in place won't be enough to overtake the Houston Astros in the American League West. At 72-90 last season, the Angels were 35 games back of Houston and 24 out of the final playoff spot.
"We know that there's some work to be done," said Eppler. "And we're going to have to make some major league acquisitions on the mound."
--Field Level Media