Vol. 122, No. 41 A Newspaper of General Circulation October 14, 2019
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Former Royal Ben Zobrist unsure about future
Ben Zobrist, the utilityman who helped the Kansas City Royals win the 2015 World Series, is facing a big decision.  
The 38-year-old utilityman already knows how he feels about Joe Maddon’s future in Chicago.  
Asked about Maddon’s legacy after five years as manager of the Cubs, Zobrist responded: “No comment, because I’d like to see that continue.”  
The uncertain future for Maddon and Zobrist is coming up quickly on the horizon. Their contracts expire after this season.  
“We’ve lost a lot of tough, close games. That makes it a little bit tougher,” Zobrist said. “But this is not a group that just in any way folds, so we’re going to keep fighting and battling.”  
For Zobrist, it’s not just a question of where he might play next year. The 2016 World Series MVP could decide to retire after spending much of the season on the restricted list while dealing with family trouble.  
Zobrist is batting .320 with one homer and six RBIs in 16 games since he was activated Aug. 31, proving to himself he could play next year if he wants to do it again.  
“I think I could, yeah,” he said before Chicago’s game against St. Louis. “I think, physically, this month (September) helped me know that physically I’m not behind necessarily. I feel like I can keep up.”  
Zobrist also played for Maddon in Tampa Bay. Maddon left the Rays after the 2014 season and took over the Cubs in a key moment for one of the best stretches in franchise history.  
With Maddon in the dugout, Chicago made it to the NL Championship Series in 2015 and then won the World Series three years ago for the first time since 1908. It returned to the NLCS in 2017, but struggled down the stretch last year and was eliminated by Colorado in the NL wild-card Game.  
Asked if he was soaking in the scenery at Wrigley Field ahead of what might be his final home game as Cubs manager, Maddon responded: “Honestly, I do that every day. I don’t anticipate that. I haven’t really thought that this whole time through. I always expect a good result.”  
“There’s been a lot of good regarding progression of players,” Maddon said. “It’s just been that maddening quadrant, that bottom of the road trip, I mean I don’t get that. You show up like you always do. You get to the ballpark. The prep’s the same everywhere every time we do it.  
“That’s the part that’s gotten away from us and that would be the one that I think requires the most thought in the offseason.”  
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