The Los Angeles Angels, amid a 12-game losing streak that marred his brilliant start to the season, sacked Joe Maddon as coach on Tuesday.
The team announced that Phil Nevin has been appointed as interim manager.
Angels were above 0.500 two weeks ago but have since fallen to 27-29. The 12-game skate tied the franchise’s season-long record, putting the Angels at risk of losing the post-season for the eighth year in a row despite expanding the post-season field.
On Monday night, the Angels were eliminated 1-0 by Boston Red Sox player Michael Wacha, dropping them 8 games behind the Houston Astros to take the top spot in the MLS Western League.
Madon told The Athletic he was surprised by first-time general manager Berry Minassian’s decision.
“Always rely on the people responsible to read the tea leaves properly,” Maddon said. “This time, they didn’t.” “You didn’t even have to ask me. You could ask any of the players or the coaches. They really know.
“Perry has been in a difficult situation. I understand that. Let me just put it that way. I will really rely on the feelings of the coaches and the players.”
Madon, a three-time general manager, was in his third season with the organization in which he spent four decades as a player and coach. Madonne, 68, was a substitute coach for Mike Sciocia on the team that won the 2002 World Championships, then went on to his highly successful nine-year career with the low-budget Tampa Bay Rays. In 2016, he led the Chicago Cubs to their first world championship in over 100 years.
Angels hired Maddon as their manager in October 2019, a move that was highly celebrated throughout the organization. But the Angels finished the 2020 and 2021 seasons under 0.500 and are suddenly in danger of doing so again in 2022, which would be the last year guaranteed on his contract.
The decision to fire Madonne marks the third major departure overseen by Minassian, who previously fired Albert Pujols and Justin Upton. Nevin, 51, spent twelve years in the major leagues, mostly as a corner player, and was appointed as the Angels third base coach in the off-season.
The Angels have been known to not win a post-season game despite hiring the game’s top player, Mike Trout, since 2012, and pressure to play until October increased with the emergence of two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani. The team’s last winning season came in 2015. Since then, the team has slowed mostly due to a lack of display quality and low depth across all of its 40-man rosters. Its six consecutive losing seasons represents the longest streak in major currencies.
The Angels started the season 27-17, spurred by a strong attack and encouraging performances by novice shooters. But since then they have a running differential of minus 43 and an AL-worst 6.31 ERA. No team has ever played the playoffs in a season in which they lost at least 12 consecutive games, but the post-season field expanded to 12 teams under the new collective bargaining agreement.
“We hit some players,” Maddon told The Athletic. “The lucky guy had a really tough time. And we stopped hitting.” “It’s just one of those things that became contagious. It wasn’t an issue of friendship or a lack of leadership. It was a disaster that happened all at once.”