The Chicago Cubs continue to struggle, mightily on the road. Those struggles, punctuated by a second straight loss to the Philadelphia Phillies are once again starting to undermine the team's chances at winning the NL Central.

The loss on Tuesday night marked the 12th straight road series the Cubs have lost or split. That's the kind of streak that is even weirder when you consider how good they have been at home.

The Chicago Cubs are an impressive 41-19 at home. That record is comparable to the best teams in major league baseball.

Only the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees have better home records. On the flip side, their road record (23-37) is the second-worst in the National League.

Only the Miami Marlins, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers have a worse away record. What do those four teams have in common? Every single one of them is in last place in their respective divisions.

Digging for the cause of the struggles away from Wrigley has become the past time of most Chicago Cubs media members.

One writer believes he's cracked the code. The problem is, the team is not listening to its manager anymore. Joe Maddon's schtick has gotten old, according to Michael Canter.

Chicago Cubs and deafened ears

"Whether Maddon is a good, poor, or great manager remains just a small part of the criteria that should be considered when deciding whether to retain him." The Cubs Insider recent wrote. "At some point, the message becomes stale and the wisdom, real or manufactured, falls on deaf ears."

Canter goes on to lay out that even if the Chicago Cubs' players aren't actively shutting Maddon out, they might be doing unconsciously.

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This doesn't mean the players dislike or are disrespecting their manager. His approach has simply become too easy to shrug off.

There is also the point that the way Joe Maddon speaks, and his approach, in general, could be one that has actually become grating. The team could be turned off by it. Canter believes the front office has been turned off by and the fans are growing tired of it.

"The schtick, the Maddon-isms, the sound bytes, the hunches, and just about everything that makes Maddon so different than any other skipper in the game feels completely played out." Canter wrote further.

Why the success at home?

There is a problem with Canter's argument. If the Chicago Cubs weren't currently tied for first place, if they weren't among the best in Major League Baseball at home, it would make a lot more sense.

Why is Joe Maddon's message so "played out" at away from Wrigley but not inside the friendly confines? It's possible the team has some mental block when it comes to away games. Maybe his messages can't get through that block. Whatever the cause, it feels like Maddon is a part of the problem, but not the entire problem by himself.

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