Chicago Manager Joe Maddon will have a chance to end baseball’s longest championship drought when he leads the Cubs, who haven’t won a title since 1908, into the World Series against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. The former Angels bench coach came very close to having a chance to end baseball’s second-longest championship drought. Maddon, who spent 30 years in the Angels organization — 18 as a minor league player, coach, manager, roving instructor and scout and 12 as a big-league coach — interviewed for the Boston Red Sox manager job after the 2003 season. The Red Sox were coming off a disappointing loss to the New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series, and Theo Epstein, the Red Sox general manager at the time and now the Cubs president, thought the club needed a more seasoned field boss to replace Grady Little. So he hired Terry Francona, who guided the Red Sox to a 2004 World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals, which ended their 86-year championship drought and the so-called “Curse of the Bambino,” and another World Series title in 2007. Maddon, the runner-up in Boston, eventually got the Tampa Bay job in 2006 and guided the expansion Rays, who finished last in the AL East in nine of their first 10 seasons, to the 2008 World Series and three more playoff berths before he signed a five-year, $25-million deal in 2015 to manage the Cubs.
Epstein: Maddon almost became Red Sox manager in 2003
Los Angeles Times | Oct 24