Joe Maddon Newsbeat
Monday, December 15, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
No, Jon Lester won the lottery. From all reports Lester is a nice guy. When the Red Sox lowballed him last off-season, Lester did not complain in the press. Instead he went out and had the best year of his career and was rewarded yesterday with a contract $40 million plus higher than he was reportedly looking for last year. Congrats to Lester and his family.
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was enjoying his pork chop dinner with a couple of red glasses of wine late Tuesday evening when he checked the text message on his cell phone.
The Cubs just signed Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million contract, with a seventh-year option that could make the deal worth $170 million, Maddon was informed, beating out the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, according to a high-ranking baseball official with direct knowledge of the negotiations.
The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the deal is not yet finalized.
Maddon just won the lottery.
Posted: December 10, 2014 at 06:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
Monday, November 17, 2014
He shouldn’t comment on this process. It’s like breaking up with a girl and then months later telling her, “Your new boyfriend seems like a solid candidate to fill the gaping void that I surely left in your life.”
They’ve created a wonderful list, they really have,” Maddon said. “They’ve given themselves an opportunity to interview some really qualified people and make a typically very good Rays decision at the end of the day. I really believe that. You know it’s going to be well thought out, and they’re going to select a solid candidate to lead.”
Posted: November 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
Thursday, November 06, 2014
This doesn’t sound that crazy. I’ve heard about other teams having something similar. I expect it’s a value system where a GM can quickly call up a number with the current estimated value for every player in baseball.
(Perhaps a little buried in all of the Maddon love over the past few days was that there appeared to be some sort of Dr. Frankenstein experiment going on in Tampa right before he departed.
“I think you need to balance it between the human being and the number,” Maddon said. “That’s something that we were really getting into in Tampa Bay right before I left, it was that interesting leap, trying to combine a number with a person somehow, and on a daily basis, trying to almost give that number life. I know that’s crazy stuff, but I think it’s doable.”
Posted: November 06, 2014 at 01:10 PM | 5 comment(s)
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
How to Win Friends and Influence People.
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Monday, November 03, 2014
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Where’s the proof? Maddon had a opt-out clause in his contract. He reportedly was reminded about the clause by TB’s Matt Silverman, “The opt-out clause, Maddon said, was something of a fine-print treasure revealed to him in a call from Matt Silverman, the Rays’ president of baseball operations, just after Friedman left. “I had totally forgotten about it,” Maddon said. “Andrew leaves, and I get a phone call that I have an opt-out clause. Otherwise I would not have known, I swear to you.”” Without evidence, this is reckless reporting.
From the Rays’ perspective, the way the Maddon situation has played out must be, well, maddening. In the hours after Andrew Friedman’s departure to the Dodgers was announced, Maddon publicly stated a renewed commitment to remain with the Rays for the long term, and Matt Silverman—who replaced Friedman at the head of the Rays’ baseball operations—announced that Maddon would be the manager for 2015, and that the team would work to sign him to a long-term deal.
And the Rays followed up. They opened negotiations with Maddon and offered him a deal that would guarantee him standing as one of baseball’s highest-paid managers. There was a sense in the Tampa Bay organization that the two sides were on the verge of a deal.
Then, abruptly, something changed, days before Maddon formally opted out of his contract.
Update: Alen Nero talking about Joe Maddon.
Posted: November 01, 2014 at 01:52 PM | 39 comment(s)
Friday, October 31, 2014
The money quote:
“Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season-ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.
“Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon—who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us—had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.
“While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Edit: Updated link. Jim.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Another great column by David Laurila .
There are a lot of ways to look at how you might augment your offense, but it can’t just be nine guys working a pitching staff over,” said Maddon. “If your goal is to get a starter out of a game, that might be the last thing you want to do. You see a lot of 95-plus out of the pen now, and some of those guys have quality secondary pitches. I think it’s become easier to build bullpens, and it’s rare a team has a bad one.”
The Kansas City Royals are a fit for Maddon’s musings. Not only is their pen dominant, their speed-focused offense posted the lowest walk rate in the game.
“We might possibly need to see a trend away from seeing pitches,” suggested Maddon. “I can see speed – including using it creatively – becoming a more important part of the game. I think the trend might be going back to the way the game had been before the unrealistic home run numbers arrived and walks became prominent. I really don’t know.”
This can’t be a fun week for Rick Renteria.
“There’s a sensitivity to this. Everybody being talked about has a manager,” said Nero of the fact that only the Minnesota Twins (and now the Rays) have a managerial vacancy. “All speculation does is create harm. Rick Renteria is the Cubs’ manager until something else happens that changes that.”
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Swing Away Cologne, by Joe Maddon. Available at Macy*s.
Is all the additional time players spend on BP and working in the cage as beneficial as it is expected to be? Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, who led the way in utilizing defensive shifts, said no.
“What we’re doing differently is we’re not taking as much of [BP],” Maddon said of his Rays. “I’m not a big believer in it. I think it’s very overrated. Because No. 1, I think too many guys go out there just trying to hit homers. No. 2, they swing way too much in the day.
“I think there’s a point of diminishing returns that sets in, arm-weariness-wise, by hitting too much. I think it’s an overrated concept. I’m not saying it’s unnecessary, and it’s good like 70 percent of the time, maybe 75 percent of the time. But the other 25 percent is not necessary. It’s a ritual.”
Maddon also said the advances in video, metrics and defensive analysis mostly favor the pitcher and work against the hitter. He said batters need to keep their minds clear and their eyes open, which allows them to react more quickly to the ball. He said visualization techniques, such as spotting the numbers written on a tennis ball thrown at 90 to 100 mph, are more important than practice swings.
“You don’t even have to swing at it,” Maddon said. “Just look at it to train your eye to see it and pick it up sooner. To me, that’s not trained enough while the swing is trained way too much. Just seeing the ball can be as important as swinging at it.
“You can have all most wonderful theory, the most erudite, simplistic theory thrown at you, and it’s not going to help you a bit unless you feel it as a hitter.”
Maddon, in fact, suggested aroma therapy—say, wearing his father’s favorite cologne—can be just as helpful for a batter.
“That, to me, can be much more beneficial than 25 extra swings,” he said.
Molitor, now a coach with the Twins, agreed too much information can sometimes be overwhelming for a hitter.
“We can try to prepare guys and help them gain confidence through practice,” he said. “But when they get out there, it’s a whole different dynamic. The mental side is as important or more important than the mechanics.”
Davis recommends that hitters, particularly those who don’t play every day, stand in during pitchers’ bullpen sessions. They won’t swing the bat. They don’t need a bat. But they need to see the ball thrown in a game-like situation.
“The key is to see what’s coming at you and make that decision to swing or not swing,” he said. “Go down to a bullpen when you’ve got three or four guys throwing, and track the pitches. If you close your eyes, you’re not seeing it. If you’re not seeing it, you’re not going to hit it. Because there are too many pitches. Sinkers, cutters, changeups, curves, sliders, splitters—you’ve got to track the ball. You’ve got to read the ball as quickly as possible to react.”
McClendon began his pro playing career in 1980. He, too, thinks there is a little excess of BP these days.
“When I played, we didn’t have soft toss,” he said. “We looked at film, we took batting practice and we played the game. Today’s players, it can almost be a crutch, all the cage work. It can sometimes be overkill. It’s like anything else in life—you can overdo it. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back. I get all the technology stuff. But what I tell my players is Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron didn’t have all that stuff. They took good old-fashioned BP and went out and played the game.”
Posted: September 13, 2014 at 12:50 PM | 4 comment(s)
Monday, August 25, 2014
I also thought the graph of “league wide WPA on sac bunts” was extremely interesting.
Since he began leading the Rays in 2006, Joe Maddon has been known as one of the more progressive MLB managers… He’s even spoke out publicly against sac bunting in the past… [yet] The Tampa Bay Rays have attempted 58 non-pitcher sacrifice bunts this season, by far the highest mark in the major leagues. No other team has even 50… Just 35 of those 58 attempts have turned into “successful” sacrifice bunts… 35-of-58 yields a 60% success rate. That’s bad. The league average success rate for a sacrifice bunt is 71%. Only five teams have lower success rates on bunts than the Rays this year…
the Rays, despite having attempted more sac bunts than anyone, have not executed more sac bunts than anyone. Instead, that title goes to Terry Francona’s Indians, with a league-leading 38 successful sacrifice bunts. The Indians, like the Rays, are known as one of the most progressive organizations in baseball and Francona has a reputation as a progressive manager from his time with the Theo Epstein-led Red Sox who didn’t bunt at all… both the Indians (104 wRC+) and Rays (102 wRC+) have top-1o offenses in baseball this season… The Indians have at least bunted well, which is more than the Rays can say, with an 82% success rate that is topped only by the Rangers’ 86%...
To be honest, I really can’t think of a good explanation as to why Maddon and Francona have fallen in love with the sacrifice bunt this year. Both have proven to be anti-bunt in the past and have strong lineups, yet rely on the bunt more than any other manager in baseball seemingly to a fault.
Just for fun, since we’re talking about the Rays and the Indians, what do the bunting habits of the Moneyball A’s look like? Fewest in the league, with just 12. Part of that is due in part to their league-worst 44% success rate, but they’ve also attempted just 24, the sixth-fewest in the MLB.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
With a 5-0 shutout win over the Yankees tonight, the Rays at long last returned to .500 at 61-61. As the Rays’ Twitter notes, they have become the fourth team in baseball history to reach .500 after falling at least 18 games below .500, joining the 1899 Louisville Colonels, the 2004 Devil Rays, and the 2006 Marlins.
I guess I’m not sure what to make of this not happening for 105 years and then happening three times since. And all with the no budget Florida teams. Maybe playing around with prospect service times is a factor?
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Chelsea’s knuckleball is real. She hit Longo in the back. I loved it. With that pitch & her composure she can compete
Not bad at all. Joe Maddon seems like fun.
for his generous support.
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