The Los Angeles Angels have fired manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday afternoon amid the team’s 12-game losing streak. Phil Nevin will take over as interim manager. Maddon was hired back prior to the 2020 season by the Angels. Los Angeles had signed Maddon to a three-year contract back in 2019, so this was going to potentially be his final season with the Halos.
Maddon joins Joe Girardi as managers who have been fired so far this season. Girardi was let go by the Philadelphia Phillies last week after a slow start. Maddon had the Angels in good shape prior to the 12-game skid, which has the Halos 8.5 games back of the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West at 27-29.
This feels like a knee-jerk type of reaction, firing a well-respected and successful manager amid tough times. There could be something else going on here. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are both struggling early in the campaign. Trout is batting .276, well below his career mark of .304. Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, is batting .242 with just 11 HRs while also struggling on the mound. His ERA is nearly 4.00 and Ohtani’s WAR is at 0.9 after finishing at 4.1 last season.
Maddon started his managerial career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, going 754-705 over nine seasons, including a trip to the World Series in 2008. After the Rays, Maddon led the 2016 Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. He’ll finish his tenure with the Angels 157-172 over parts of three seasons.