Angels fire Joe Maddon after strong start devolved into 12-game skid

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In decided pursuit of their first playoff look since 2014 — and their first postseason win since 2009 — the Los Angeles Angels fired supervisor Joe Maddon on Tuesday afternoon. Third base coach Phil Nevin will function interim supervisor starting with Tuesday evening’s sport towards the visiting Boston Purple Sox.

The Angels, who’re on a 12-game dropping streak that dropped their report to 27-29, are the second playoff hopeful to fireside an skilled supervisor up to now week; they be a part of the Philadelphia Phillies, who jettisoned Joe Girardi on Friday and proceeded to brush the Angels at Residents Financial institution Park over the weekend.

The ultimate sport of that collection was significantly devastating for Maddon’s crew, which led 5-Zero within the fifth inning and 6-2 within the eighth earlier than the Phillies rallied for a walk-off win. The Purple Sox then shut them out, 1-Zero, on Monday.

Lower than a month in the past, such a transfer was almost unthinkable. Maddon and the star-studded Angels had been 10 video games above .500 and charging towards October. Shohei Ohtani was pitching properly and hitting loads. Mike Trout was wholesome. The pitching employees was higher. The Angels had dedicated probably the most cash in franchise historical past to this roster, and it seemed to be price it.

However then accidents struck. Regular infielder David Fletcher required hip surgical procedure. Upstart Taylor Ward (hamstring) and former all-star Anthony Rendon (wrist) additionally hit the injured checklist.

And Trout, the long run Corridor of Famer and franchise centerpiece, slid into the longest hitless streak of his profession, which ended at Zero for 26 when he singled Monday. Different groups expertise accidents, too, however few see issues crumble the best way the Angels have up to now two weeks. Coming into Tuesday’s video games, they had been 8½ video games behind the Houston Astros within the American League West — however nonetheless simply 1½ out of the AL’s third wild-card spot.

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The Angels hired Maddon ahead of the 2020 season amid frustration about their always-talented roster’s lack of ability to make a playoff push. Maddon had proved himself able to successful in quite a lot of conditions, having led the wily Tampa Bay Rays to an AL pennant in 2008 and the beleaguered Chicago Cubs to their curse-breaking World Series title in 2016.

However his magic didn’t translate in Anaheim, the place he completed 152-172 and posted sub-.500 data in each of his full seasons. His groups had been undone by a scarcity of dependable pitching and had been pissed off by their lack of aggressive late-summer baseball.

Maddon, 68, additionally confronted questions on his hiring selections. It was Maddon, along with then-general supervisor Billy Eppler, who introduced pitching coach Mickey Callaway to the Angels after the 2019 season. MLB banned Callaway after it investigated a number of complaints of lewd habits and sexual harassment and located them to be credible.

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Maddon stated he was shocked to listen to of the accusations towards Callaway and known as it a “troublesome topic to discuss.” Eppler was fired as GM after the 2020 season and is now basic supervisor of the New York Mets.

Maddon’s dismissal is a clumsy chapter within the younger tenure of Normal Supervisor Perry Minasian, whom the Angels employed in November 2020. Minasian is as affable and affected person of a GM as yow will discover — cautious, not reactionary. That he determined to fireside Maddon now — properly earlier than the all-star break and as accidents have undermined a roster that seemed aggressive when wholesome — shows a brand new type of urgency round a crew that has declared it, however not proven it, time and again lately.

Minasian arms the reins to Nevin, who was employed within the offseason after spending 2017 to 2021 because the New York Yankees’ third base coach. Nevin’s identify was within the combine for a number of managerial jobs lately, together with the Washington Nationals’ opening when Matt Williams was fired after the 2015 season. On an interim foundation, he’ll get his first probability with the Angels.

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