Joe Maddon was subject to MUCH scrutiny on Twitter (and the airwaves and presumably at bars and amongst Cubs fans in the stadium) for his decision to bring in Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the seventh inning of Game 6, and leave him in for the eighth and ninth. When Maddon made this move, the Cubs had a 7-2 lead, and it was 9-2 when Chapman returned to the mound for the ninth.
Chapman wasn’t what Maddon was asked about in this question — it was about Kyle Hendricks’ optimistic demeanor — but Maddon’s answer encapsulated what the blowback will be if Chapman’s services are needed in Game 7 and he’s either unavailable or ineffective.
“I’ve been accused of the rose-colored glasses, I’ve been called Pollyanna on occasion, and I just had a great conversation with the Fox crew about Twitter,” Maddon said. “I’ll make it public right now. I really think there should be two forms of Twitter. There should be the positive form of Twitter and the negative form, and you have to choose one. And if you choose to be on Negative Twitter, then you’re not welcome on Positive Twitter. Ever.
“And there needs to be Twitter police, because there’s so much negativity that’s generated on a daily basis within our society that we have to do something about [it]. Social media to me — I’ve done it; I did it with the Rays because I thought it was necessary to put our message out there and promote the Rays — at some point gets to the point where it’s absolutely a negative situation.”
He went on to ask: Why do you want to assume the worst?
As I alluded to before, negative feelings about managerial decisions or anything else that happens in sports are hardly confined to Twitter. What Twitter does do, however, is provide access for anonymous egg trolls to make their vitriol unavoidable to their recipients, which is everyone with a platform big enough to matter.
Nevertheless, Maddon’s overall message preaching positivity is true enough. I dunno about total segregation — rose-colored glasses are great, but can sometimes put an exaggerated spin on bleak reality. Maddon’s means are justified whether or not the Cubs win tonight, but the prevailing narrative will support his persona a WHOLE lot more in the event that happens.