World Series second-guessing doesn't faze Cubs manager Joe Maddon

When Joe Maddon drove to his Tampa home after the World Series, the Cubs' manager let everyone else second-guess his decisions that nearly backfired in Game 7.

"It's fascinating to me regarding the second-guessing because the only reality I know is that we won," Maddon said. "That's the one reality that I do know. We have often times talked about outcome. If you had done something differently, would it have turned out better? But better than winning, I don't know what that is.

"And furthermore, y'all know me, the people that are on me all the time. The way we worked that last game was prepared before the game began."

Maddon said his pitching plan was scripted before the game, with Jon Lester following starter Kyle Hendricks and closer Aroldis Chapman finishing the game. But things went haywire when Lester — rather than Mike Montgomery — followed Hendricks and threw a wild pitch that led to two runs in the fifth.

And Chapman, pitching for the third consecutive game, allowed a game-tying home run to Rajai Davis in the eighth.

"Those are the kind of things — you can't control the narrative when the game is in the progress," Maddon said. "I definitely know that I was able to fill up, based on my decision making in that game, a lot of bar room banter throughout the Chicago area or nationally, internationally. But the point is when you work a game like that, there is not an eighth game, there is only a seventh game."

Cardinals covet Fowler: Rival Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made no secret of their interest in Fowler.

"I know about Dexter," Matheny said. "There's no question that he's one of the guys out there that not just the Cardinals but other teams are interested in. I'm always available for whatever the recruiting process needs."

Matheny said he hadn't spoken to Fowler but liked the fact he can make a difference at the top of the batting order.

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