In the aftermath of Chicago’s collapse last season

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  1. zhangzk


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    Jan 10, 2018
    MESA , Ariz. (AP) — Cubs manager Joe Maddon went looking for a deeper understanding of the players who dominate the major leagues these days.Maddon’s search took him to “Managing Millennials for Dummies,” and the book reinforced what he already felt about the people he worked with every day.“The big takeaway is that they’re no different than anybody else,” a chuckling Maddon said. “When you break it down and you go back to your own childhood we all had inefficiencies as young people. The biggest takeaway I think are two things; that the propensity to be inclined to utilize technology, which is wonderful because I’ve done that anyway, and then, they as a group like wanting to know why.”Millennials make up the vast majority of the majors today, and their influence is felt all over the sport.They were the earliest adopters of the advanced statistics that have become commonplace throughout baseball, and they inform much of what they do on the mound or at the plate. They want to know the reasoning behind what their coaches want them to do.“I’ve learned this generation is nothing like the generation I grew up in,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Nothing like it. You have to learn and have an open mind to find out what makes these kids tick, how they grew up. They’re so diverse and their way of communicating is different in Southern California, kids in the South, kids in the East. It’s just taking the time to get to know them and how to communicate.”The millennial generation became a hot topic in Chicago when the Cubs fired hitting coach Chili Davis after they struggled to score in the final few days of last season, culminating in their 2-1 Josh Tomlin Jersey , 13-inning loss to Colorado in the NL Wild Card Game.Davis told the Chicago Sun-Times that he needed to make some adjustments to how he delivers his message to millennials, and he planned to know more about his potential players before he accepted another job. He was hired as hitting coach for the New York Mets in December.“You learn from every place you go,” Davis said during spring training. “You know, there’s a lot of different personalities to try to connect with. And sometimes you connect with most of them, you hope you connect with all of ’em — that’s a rarity. But you know, I had great kids in Boston, I thought I had some really good kids over in Chicago last year and I’m really enjoying the guys I’m around this year.”Defining a generation “is an art and a science,” said Kate Turkcan, who is the head of youth insights for Kantar Consulting. Turkcan said millennials were born between 1979 and 1996, and centennials — the next major generation for baseball — began in 1997 and ended between four and eight years ago.Turkcan, who has worked with universities and companies like Samsung, Coca-Cola and Target, said the millennial stereotype of entitled young person is misguided.“They’re not asking why to be difficult. They’re asking why because they’ve grown up in a generation or in a world where you need proof for everything, you need back up Carlos Carrasco Jersey ,” she said.“They’re taught critical thinking skills … they’ve been taught you don’t take anything at face value and I think even coming from someone who’s experienced, like a coach or like a manager, it’s not that they’re doubting, but it is that they’ve always been taught like you don’t just take anything. You ask why. … You want to get really to the root of the issue.”Maddon, who turned 65 on Feb. 8, is the oldest manager in baseball, followed by the 64-year-old Yost and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy, 63. Maddon is nearly 30 years older than Rocco Baldelli, who became the game’s youngest manager when he was hired by Minnesota in October.Despite his age, Maddon has been known for his ability to relate to his players. The Cubs declined to offer him an extension after the tough finish last year, so Maddon’s ability to get the most of the younger millennials on his roster could help determine his future.That’s just fine with Maddon, who thinks his style works nicely for baseball’s most important generation at the moment.“Quite frankly, when I started doing this in the mid-80s, I thought it was important to tell my players why Cliff Pennington Jersey ,” Maddon said. “You want to know why, I don’t feel offended. I think sometimes it’s, when people ask you why there’s a defensive component to that that some people don’t like. I don’t mind it. So when they ask me that, why, I should be prepared to tell them why.” ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yu Darvish had long since flopped in his return to Texas when former teammate Joey Gallo beat the Chicago Cubs with one swing.Gallo hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Rangers rallied for an 8-6 victory Saturday night, giving new manager Chris Woodward a dramatic first win after an opening day drubbing by the Cubs.“Honestly, I forgot,” Gallo said when asked about his manager’s milestone. “Hopefully we can get many more for him.”This wasn’t the kind of first Darvish had in mind facing the club that brought him over from Japan and kept him for five-plus seasons. The four-time All-Star walked seven of the first 13 batters, failing to make it out of the third inning in his first meeting with his former team.Darvish recorded nothing but walks and strikeouts to the first 10 hitters after the Cubs gave him a 3-0 lead, tying a career high by walking six the first time through the order.Rougned Odor’s RBI single was the first ball in play in the second. An inning later, Darvish’s seventh walk set up Asdrubal Cabrera’s first homer with the Rangers , a two-run shot for a 4-3 Texas deficit.Darvish was gone a batter later after 75 pitches in 2 2/3 innings, the shortest regular season outing for the right-hander.“I can’t tell why right now Joey Votto Jersey ,” Darvish said. “I will have to look at the video tomorrow. But ball was fine. Mound was fine. It was just all about me.”Gallo’s homer to center field came off reliever Carl Edwards Jr. (0-1), a former Texas minor leaguer who didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced. That included a career-high fourth walk for Nomar Mazara — one of 12 walks for Cubs pitching. Texas pitchers walked seven.“We’re coming at you,” Woodward said. “If you throw strikes, we’re going to hammer them. If you don’t, we’re not going to swing at them. If that becomes who we are, especially with two strikes, staying stubborn, this will be one of the best offenses in baseball.”Texas closer Jose Leclerc pitched the ninth for the save, getting Willson Contreras on a flyout to center after Kyle Schwarber bunted away from the shift for a hit to bring the tying run to the plate.Darvish, who struck out four, missed the last four months of his first season with the Cubs because of elbow and arm injuries. Texas dealt the four-time All-Star to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the trade deadline in 2017.Edinson Volquez’s layoff was even longer, with his first big league start since July 5, 2017 coming off Tommy John surgery. The right-hander, who reached the majors with the Rangers 14 years ago and was later traded for Josh Hamilton , gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in four innings in his first Texas outing since 2007.Shawn Kelley (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings before the 433-foot drive from Gallo, his first hit of the season.Shin-Soo Choo struck out his first four times in his season debut after the Rangers’ only 2018 All-Star wasn’t in the lineup for the opener. But his two-run single with two outs in the seventh pulled Texas within 6-5.DARVISH’S DUDDarvish struck out the first two hitters before walking three straight. He escaped that bases-loaded jam with a strikeout of Cabrera, who had three hits. Darvish opened the second by walking three more in a row before another strikeout of Choo, Odor’s run-scoring hit and a fly out from Elvis Andrus.After getting pulled, Darvish nodded several times during a conversation with manager Joe Maddon. “The stuff … is really good,” Maddon said. “It’s just about where it’s going. That kind of stuff definitely is going to play post fifth inning, sixth or seventh inning. He just has to get in the zone. And we’ll get him there.”CUBS SCORINGThe Cubs had three straight run-scoring singles in the first inning, starting with Javier Baez after the cleanup hitter homered twice in a 12-4 Chicago win in the opener.Schwarber added to his RBI single with a solo homer in the fifth , and Contreras followed his with two doubles. The first drove in another run, the second led to him scoring for a 6-3 lead.UP NEXTCubs: Another former Texas ace, Cole Hamels, faces is former team. He was 38-21 with a 3.90 ERA in 88 starts for Texas from 2015-18. Chicago acquired the left-hander from the Rangers before the trade deadline last year.Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn makes his Texas debut. He is 0-4 with a 6.92 ERA in his past nine starts against the Cubs. The first eight of those were with St. Louis.