Joe Maddon will be remembered as the guy who led the Chicago Cubs to a World Series win after a 108 year drought. That’s the way it should be. Joe was an integral part of the Cubs championship season. Still, there is some discussion about the way he handled his pitching staff during the Series.

It’s ironic that Maddon was able to lead the Cubs to a world championship and have his legacy questioned at the same time. There are a couple of distinct angles to consider.

Joe really did butcher his staff during the last three games of the World Series.

Actually, an argument could be made that Joe really only mishandled his staff in games six and seven.

The Cubs won game five by a score of 3-2. Aroldis Chapman pitched the final 2.2 innings. The idea of extending Chapman that far can be rationalized by reasoning if the Cubs don’t win game five, nothing else matters.

Game 6 is another matter. With the Cubs up 7-2, Chapman was again called in and went 1.1 innings. Social media was alive with criticism for Maddon when Chapman was called into the game. The Cubs ultimately won game six, 9-3, but Chapman was running on fumes.

Kyle Hendricks started game 7 for the Cubs and went 4.1 effective innings before Maddon went to the pen. Hendricks looked like he was good for six or seven innings but was pulled with a 5-1 lead.

Without rehashing the whole game, Aroldis Chapman was again called on and gave up the game tying home run to Raj Davis in the 8th inning.

What is sometimes forgotten is that Chapman was able to pull himself together to pitch a scoreless 9th and become the winner of the 7th game of the 2016 World Series.

Upon further review…

Joe Maddon still hears criticism about how he handled his bullpen in the 2016 World Series. And, he’s surprisingly defensive about it.

Maddon is widely viewed as one of the best, if not the best, managers in baseball. Still, that doesn’t mean every move he makes is a good one. If the Indians had won game seven, Maddon would have been a bigger goat in Cubs history than Steve Bartman. But they didn’t. Maddon will be remembered as the man who pursued and caught baseball’s great white whale, a Cubs World Series win.

His bullpen issues in the series will be a minor footnote in baseball history

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