ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels fired manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday with the team mired in a 12-game losing streak.
Third base coach Phil Nevin will be the interim manager when the Angels (27-29) host Boston on Tuesday night.
The 68-year-old Maddon went 130-148 with the Angels, who hired him before the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season for his self-described dream job. Maddon spent three decades of his career as a player and coach for the Angels before going on to an impressive managerial career that has included three Manager of the Year awards and a World Series title with the Cubs.
After finishing with losing records in Maddon’s first two seasons, the Angels were off to a strong 27-17 start this year before their current losing streak began. They are one loss shy of tying the longest skid in franchise history, and the slump has dropped them 8 1/2 games behind Houston for the AL West lead after being in first place on May 15.
The Angels were shut out 1-0 in Maddon’s final game by the Boston Red Sox and journeyman starter Michael Wacha, who threw a three-hitter against the Halos’ star-studded lineup Monday night.
The Angels are in a 3-16 skid overall since May 15, when they were 24-13.
Los Angeles’ offense, which was among the majors’ best in the first six weeks, has scored only 35 runs during its 12-game losing streak with a minus-43 run differential. The Halos’ pitching staff has devolved into the ineffectiveness that has plagued the franchise’s last several seasons, posting an AL-worst 6.31 ERA during the streak.
Owner Arte Moreno’s big-budget club has finished with six consecutive losing records in the longest active skid in the majors despite a roster headlined by former AL MVPs Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, who have both never won a playoff game.
The Angels’ seven-year playoff drought is also tied for the third-longest in baseball, yet they appeared to be well on their way to making the expanded field this fall before their confounding current skid.
The streak forced a dismal end to what Maddon hoped would be a storybook conclusion to his career back in the Pennsylvania native’s adopted home in Orange County. The genial, talkative bench boss excelled as a manager for nine seasons in Tampa Bay and five more with the Cubs, who famously ended their 108-year World Series championship drought during his tenure in 2016.
Maddon is 1,382-1,216 in parts of 19 seasons as a manager.
Nevin is the Angels’ third manager in just over four seasons since Moreno cut ties with Mike Scioscia, who ran the Angels’ dugout for 19 years and won their only World Series championship. Maddon was Scioscia’s bench coach during that title season.
The Halos dismissed manager Brad Ausmus after just one season in late 2019, and the move appeared to be made because Maddon had just come on the market after parting ways with the Cubs. Moreno then fired general manager Billy Eppler and hired Perry Minasian after the 2020 season, but the first-time GM appeared to get along splendidly with Maddon.
The 51-year-old Nevin is the first Orange County native to manage the Angels. He played 12 major league seasons for six teams, including the Angels in 1998. He has never been a manager above the Triple-A level, but he spent four seasons as the New York Yankees’ third base coach before joining Maddon’s staff this season.
Maddon is the second manager to be fired this season. Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was dismissed last week, and the Phillies promptly swept the Angels.
The Cubs dismissed Maddon before the 2019 season finale, a move that surprised no one at the time. That was a lame-duck season for Maddon considering Theo Epstein, then the Cubs president, would not consider a contract extension until the end of the season.
“Sometimes it’s just time,” Epstein said in 2019 after Maddon and the Cubs parted ways. “We’re going through some transitions in various levels of the organization and think change will be good for this group.”
Maddon joined the Cubs after their last-place finish in 2014 and after nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. He led the Rays to their first World Series appearance in 2008.