After months of investigation regarding how Joe Maddon wound up as manager of the Cubs, MLB has cleared the team of any wrong doing.
MLB has concluded the Joe Maddon tampering investigation: pic.twitter.com/9SOVUkcPYY— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) April 29, 2015
Early in the 2014 offseason, Andrew Friedman left the Rays to become President of Baseball Operations for the cash flush Dodgers. With Friedman gone, a clause in Maddon's contract was triggered, giving him the power to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. Upon hearing this, Theo Epstein "confirmed the news with Major League Baseball" and began the process of acquiring Maddon.
Clouding this situation was the fact that the Cubs already had a manager in Rick Renteria, and had recently expressing faith in him. He was supposed to be the manager who would lead their young core of prospects to the playoffs, but would now be fired. With Maddon available, a new situation presented itself that the Cubs needed to take advantage of. Epstein said the club faced a "clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick [Renteria] or be loyal to the organization." While it was undoubtedly an awkward situation, it was without question the right course of action for the future of their franchise.
The Cubs can now officially put this matter behind them, and focus solely on winning games. If this investigation had dragged on throughout the season, or concluded something different, it would have unnecessarily divided the organization's attention. The Cubs are one game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, and über prospect Kris Bryant is hitting .341/.471/.439. It's a good time to be a fan of the lovable losers, as their 25 and under infield and guru manager have everything working well.
While the Cubs have been great thus far in 2015, the stadium itself has been less than ideal. The outfield has been noticeably absent this season for games at Wrigley, but the set date of May 11th is approaching quickly. The left field bleachers are almost ready for fans and their return to stands will help the stadium get some of its charm back.
Patrick Mooney reported that Cubs executives turned over some of their electronics as part of the investigation.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cubs?src=hash">#Cubs</a> executives turned over phones and laptops to MLB investigators as part of the Maddon tampering case.</p>— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) <a href="https://twitter.com/CSNMooney/status/593521446883700736">April 29, 2015</a></blockquote>
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