It might have been just a split-squad spring training game between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels, but there was definitely a different buzz at the ballpark for this matchup. Former Cubs manager Joe Maddon was leading his new team the Los Angeles Angels against a large number of his former players. Both sides seemed eager to get reacquainted before the game, and there were plenty of hugs and handshakes from Cubs players and their former skipper.

Joe Maddon was not re-signed at the end of 2019, ending the best five-year run by any manager in Chicago Cubs history. In Maddon’s first year on the North Side, he guided the Cubs to 97 wins and a Wild Card berth in the National League. Chicago knocked out the Pittsburgh Pirates in that game before eliminating the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. The Cubs were then swept out of the playoffs by the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series.

The 2016 season will go down as the best season in Chicago Cubs history. Maddon led the Cubs to the best record in baseball during the regular season, and then capped it off with a World Series Championship, ending a 108-year drought on the North Side of Chicago.

After making the playoffs again in 2017 and 2018, the 2019 season was a struggle for the Cubs and for Joe Maddon. Chicago dealt with a ton of injuries to key players, and they failed to make the playoffs for the first and only time under Maddon. The Cubs and Maddon agreed to part ways, and David Ross was named as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs averaged 94 wins a season under Joe Maddon, with their lowest win total (84) coming in 2019. Maddon will now return to the Los Angeles Angels organization which is where he got his start in professional baseball. Maddon was a very successful manager in the American League with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Cubs were able to come away with a 9-4 win over the Angels on Monday, but the final score rarely matters in a Spring Training affair. Chicago will be looking to make a return to the playoffs under Joe Maddon, and they kept their core intact heading into the 2020 season. Maddon will try to lead the Los Angeles Angels to the playoffs with Mike Trout leading the way.