AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM (AP) — Joe Maddon is back under the halo.
Maddon agreed to become the Los Angeles Angels’ manager on Wednesday, reuniting the World Series-winning former manager of the Chicago Cubs with the organization where he spent the first three decades of his baseball career.
“We are thrilled that Joe is coming back home and bringing an exciting brand of baseball to our fans,” general manager Billy Eppler said. “Every stop he has made throughout his managerial career, he has built a culture that is focused on winning while also allowing his players to thrive. We believe Joe will be a great asset for our club and look forward to him leading the team to another World Series championship.”
The Angels will formally introduce the 65-year-old Maddon at a news conference next week, but he already knows his way around Angel Stadium.
Maddon signed with the Angels as an undrafted catcher in 1975, and he spent the next 31 years working at almost every level of the organization as a player, coach and manager. He served as a big league assistant coach under five managers, and he had two stints as the Angels’ interim manager.
He was the Angels’ bench coach during their championship season in 2002. He left to manage Tampa Bay in 2006 for nine mostly successful seasons, followed by a move to Chicago to make history.
Maddon left the Cubs by mutual consent last month after they missed the playoffs for the first time in his five-year tenure. In 2016, he led Chicago to its first World Series title in 108 years.
Maddon replaces Brad Ausmus, who was fired after one season when the Angels finished 72-90, their worst record since 1999. Ausmus was abruptly dismissed shortly after Maddon became available, and most observers assumed Angels owner Arte Moreno had his eye on a reunion with Maddon, who was the Angels’ bench coach when Moreno bought the club in 2003.