Cubs manager Joe Maddon is reading 'Managing Millennials for Dummies' to better connect with his players

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  • Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has been reading “Managing Millennials for Dummies” this offseason in hopes of improving his communication with his players.
  • The developments comes after Cubs president Theo Epstein said teams need to change the way they handle players because they are now dealing with “ultra-millennials.”
  • Maddon is in the final year of his contract, and there is a belief that he and the Cubs need to improve in 2019 for him to keep his job.

Heading into the final year of his contract, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is attempting to improve communication with his team.

After a disappointing 2018 season that ended with a loss in the National League wild card game, Maddon, with hints from his front office, decided he needed to refocus how he works with his players.

Speaking from the MLB winter meetings, Maddon told reporters he’s been reading “Managing Millennials for Dummies” to learn how to better communicate. Maddon said, contrary to the title, the book is enlightening.

“I’m in the middle of that right now,” Maddon said, via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “And you always think this for-dummy’s thing is really rudimentary written; it’s really well written and researched. I’m learning about traditionalists, baby boomers, the Xers, the millennials. And I’m really starting to understand this a little bit better.”

It’s not the first time the Cubs intimated that Maddon needed to change things up. In November, team president Theo Epstein said teams need to learn how to deal with “ultra-millennials.”

“The game has changed a lot to reach players, even in the last five years, even in the time that he’s been in Chicago,” Epstein said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “I mean, we’re dealing with ultra-millennials here with our players and the way the game is played and how players process information and the way you have to communicate with them really has changed. So if you’re not making adjustments, you’re falling behind.”

When told of Maddon’s offseason reading, Epstein told reporters: “That’s classic Joe. It’s a great characteristic that Joe has: He’s curious and open to change after all that he’s accomplished. I think he’s looking to learn a little bit about it and probably apply some things next year. It’s a great sign.”

Epstein shut down contract extension talks with Maddon early in the offseason, leaving Maddon with a “lame duck” status heading into the 2019 season. There has been speculation that both men are on different pages, which they both have shot down.

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