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October 21, 2015

Joe Maddon

Chicago, Illinois - Postgame four

Mets - 8 - Cubs - 3

JOE MADDON: May I just start by congratulating the Mets. That was a pretty impressive four games they played against us. They didn't give us -- they did not let us up for air at any point. Their domination of the early part of the game and their pitching was impressive. They played well, they didn't make mistakes. So it's not so much to be disappointed in our performance. They were just that good for four days, man. I've got to give them credit.

I'm really happy for T.C. Terry and I go way back, and I know how much this means to him and his family too. So that's very spectacular for him. Of course, I'd prefer my family celebrating right now, but I'm really happy for him and his group. They did a great job. They were just outstanding for four games.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about what's going through your head right now as you look back and reflect on what this team was able to accomplish this season?
JOE MADDON: That's what I talked to the team about. That's why I was late getting on over here. I talked to them first of all, listen, go ahead and lose hard for 30 minutes like we always do, then let's move it along and really understand and celebrate what we accomplished this year.

For me personally, I walked in the door not really knowing anybody in Arizona, hardly anybody in Arizona when we got there in February, and how we built relationships and created a culture within one year is pretty spectacular within the clubhouse.

I mentioned to them how important it is as we move forward and we go to Spring Training next year we know exactly what we want to do and how we want to do it. On top of that, our young players have learned how to win on a Major League level which matters. And to get within four games of the World Series in your freshman year is not a bad thing.

So, of course, we wanted to go further, and of course it's highly disappointing. However, you look at -- you've got to look at the positives that are involved, and that's what I want them to really focus on when they go home and they have a chance to reflect individually and as a group all that we've accomplished this year.

Q. Joe, are you a little shocked that it was a four-game sweep, the way you were coming into the playoffs? And can you say a few words about Daniel Murphy?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I mean, I did anticipate more games than four. I absolutely did, unless we had won four, that would have been okay.

But, yeah, the way it started out in New York, their pitching was really dominating there, and then we got back home, and I thought we'd figure it out back home. But it just did not want to work out. They really, like I said, they smothered us early and that's always a great game plan. They were able to do that, and they kind of dictated the action based on that. Again, all the credit to them.

Daniel Murphy, I've not seen anything like this, I don't think, ever. I saw Bonds in the 2002 World Series where you did not want to throw a baseball to him as a pitcher. Right now it's just incredible, line drive to left, homer to right or homer to center. He looks like he's going to hit the ball hard on every pitch. It's unusual to see a guy that locked in and that locked in at this particular moment. Again, credit to him. He was obviously a big part of their success, and you don't see that very often.

Q. What was your message to the young guys in the locker room after the game?
JOE MADDON: I was saying I want them to understand and embrace all that they have done well this year. Just don't look at these last couple games and focus on that at all. See how far we've come within a very short period of time, understand the personal growth and the team growth that occurred, and also understand we go to Spring Training next year, we can really just jump right on it. We know what we want to do and how we want to do it. Off-season to stay in touch, that kind of stuff.

But listen, man, I could not be more thrilled with the group. One thing I mentioned, as of this morning, there were only four teams playing in the Big Leagues and we were one of them. That's pretty solid.

Q. You have history with Terry going back, and you have some appreciation for the game. He spent almost a half a century chasing getting to a World Series. I wonder what you think for him right now?
JOE MADDON: No, I'm ecstatic for him personally. I really am. I know T.C., we're both minor league runts at heart. He came up the same way I did. We crossed paths in the '80s, when he was with the Dodgers and I was with the Angels, and eventually worked together in Anaheim. I know him. I know his family. I knew his dad.

So I'm really happy for him. I'm honestly, sincerely very happy for him. I know how much it means to him. I know how hard he works and I know how good he is at his craft. So for all those different reasons, I'm happy for him and his family.

Q. As far as tonight's game, that sequence to Duda in the first inning where it looks like Hammel may have struck him out on the 2-2 pitch, and then can you just expound on that a little bit, and overall what did you think of Jason's performance?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, Hammel had a tough time. Gosh, I didn't see that. I didn't see four points in the first inning. I thought, if you look again, the base hit by Granderson to left field is a 95 miles an hour fastball. I've been talking, his stuff has been good. I didn't realize the pitch to Duda, the 2-2 pitch was that good. I didn't realize that.

But then again, I'm not going to blame anything on an umpire right now. We have plenty of time to string things out or make a better pitch on the next pitch.

The thing about our group that I really appreciate, there's two things: They're very accountable and there is not a sense of entitlement among them. So for me to lament the situation like that, I'd be absolutely going against what we're attempting to create within this organization. So bully for Duda to come back and do what he did. I didn't see the four points early. Even Duda's base hit against Travis, that was a bit of a surprise also, because Travis against him is a really, really good match-up. So that's just good hitting on his part.

Q. As you go into the off-season, what tops your wish list for this team going into next year?
JOE MADDON: That's -- we'll talk to Theo and Jed, obviously. You're going to look at always to augment your pitching, always. That's just, you do.

The team on the field, you could see it was pretty thick. The team on the field was pretty thick. Bullpen, with the additions are kind of interesting also.

But for me, you look among the players, it's kind of solvent among the group on the field. It's probably more of a pitching-oriented kind of thing, but you'd have to talk to them about it. I'm a pretty good company guy. Whatever they decide to do, I'll be there for them.

Q. When you were on that beach in Pensacola last fall, I'm sure Theo and Jed established some expectations for you to expect coming in about what they'd be able to provide to you and support you and how the whole organization would be able to support you. Can you talk a little about how those expectations have been met?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, they're pretty phenomenal, actually from the Ricketts family, to the front office, Theo and Jed, and the whole group. All the guys and ladies that work up -- I mean, even my charity work, the charity work we attempted to get done this year, whether it was Respect 90 Foundation or the boxing we set up for the Crushers Club. I mean, the cooperation has been incredible.

My first indoctrination was the Cubs Convention, which was like, wow. You walk in there and it just smacks you in the face all the folks that are really into it and the organization, and the tradition, et cetera.

So from top to bottom, man, everybody's on board. But I'm here to tell you, Theo and Jed support you, the feel you receive from the front office to my office to the coaching staff, to the clubhouse, it doesn't get better.

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