Joe Maddon is out as manager of the Chicago Cubs, and Clint Hurdle has been fired as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was announced today, as a pair of veteran National League Central managers have been let go.
The Cubs and Maddon parting ways isn’t that much of a surprise, as there was talk last offseason the Cubs might go a different direction, and Maddon’s contract was up at the end of this season. The Cubs are out of the playoffs after having been knocked out in the Wild Card round last year, and fairly or not, they’ve generally been seen as underachieving since winning the World Series in 2016.
As for Hurdle, he said on Wednesday he was told he was returning, so his being fired by the Pirates is something of a surprise, but the Pirates have disappointed this year and have had a number of off-the-field issues. The former Rockies manager was well-regarded when he was with Texas as their hitting coach, and he’s been mentioned as someone who could be a candidate for the San Diego Padres managerial job.