Cubs president Theo Epstein and manager Joe Maddon recently sat down with noted Cubs fan Bryant Gumbel for a segment of HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.
The folks at HBO were kind enough to share a few clips from the interview that will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. Central.
Epstein reveals the work that went into courting Maddon once the former Rays manager became a free agent.
“That was the first time I’ve ever had to Google Map an RV park in my life to begin with, let alone for a job interview,” Epstein tells Gumbel. ““There was a Publix supermarket across the street and I know Joe likes wine. So I got the best bottle of wine I could. Like, it was 19 bucks or something and the next thing you know we’re sitting in plastic lawn chairs in the sand on the beach at Pensacola, RV’s behind us, ocean in front of us, talking about what makes a great organization.
“I needed to know that he was ready for the grind of Chicago and the massive challenge that we had on hand. And I was convinced in the first ten minutes.”
Gumbel then asks Maddon what he needed to hear from Epstein and the Cubs.
“That I could co-habitate with him,” Maddon says. “I mean, I know I’m different than a lot of the guys that do what I do but I need some latitude. I needed some freedom.”
The two Cubs bosses also discuss the rain delay during the 2016 World Series and even some of Maddon’s questionable moves during the Series against the Indians.
“I didn’t agree with everything he did during the World Series,” Epstein says, “but I agreed with him as being the absolute right person to see us through all these ups and downs and get us to the end. And that’s what he did, is he got us to the end.”