Joe Maddon Newsbeat
Friday, January 02, 2015
Which executives, managers and players will drive the MLB narrative in the coming season? Here’s a look at the 15 most interesting people in baseball heading into 2015:
1. Rob Manfred
After an extended run as Bud Selig’s most trusted aide, Manfred takes center stage in late January as baseball’s 10th commissioner. He’ll try to maintain the momentum that has made baseball a $9 billion industry while setting an agenda on pace of play, changes in the draft and free-agent compensation system, and MLB’s efforts to reach out to a younger fan base. Manfred also needs to connect with Tony Clark and the players’ association while navigating the usual array of ownership labor hawks and doves in negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement in 2016.
2. Alex Rodriguez
Where do we start? A-Rod, who missed the entire 2014 season with a drug suspension, turns 40 in July. He’s six homers shy of tying Willie Mays’ total of 660 and collecting a $6 million bonus on top of the $61 million the Yankees already owe him. But the Yankees just signed third baseman Chase Headley to a four-year deal—yet another sign that they want Rodriguez to go away. Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter were universally revered at the end of their runs in the Bronx. The reception won’t be quite as fawning when the most polarizing figure in baseball reports to Steinbrenner Field for duty in February.
They don’t always drink beer. But when they do, its Dos Equis. Wait, is that a centaur joke?
Posted: January 02, 2015 at 09:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
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.
Your browser does not support iframes.
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)
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: OT - Politics - February 2015: At This Party, You’d Better Keep It Down. Arizona Sheriff Known for Toughness Is Allowing Inmates to Watch the Super Bowl
(3469 - 8:57am, Feb 28)Last:
You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)Newsblog
: Juan Pierre officially announces his retirement
(44 - 8:56am, Feb 28)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre HillmanNewsblog
: Dodgers going organic this season
(6 - 8:53am, Feb 28)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)Newsblog
: OT: Soccer January 2015
(551 - 8:46am, Feb 28)Last:
Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the SiteNewsblog
: Aramis Ramirez plans to retire after 2015 season
(2 - 8:15am, Feb 28)
: 2015-16 MLB International Bonus Pools - BaseballAmerica.com
(1 - 7:49am, Feb 28)
: AJC: Braves center fielder Upton (foot) likely out at least 2 months
(1 - 7:46am, Feb 28)
Last: What's the realistic upside, RMc?Newsblog
: Braves insist it's a 'remodeling,' not a 'rebuilding'
(30 - 3:13am, Feb 28)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)Newsblog
: What Rick Porcello learned while surrounded by aces in Detroit - WEEI | John Tomase
(1 - 2:20am, Feb 28)
Last: Walt DavisNewsblog
: MLBTR: Mets Not Expected To Talk Extension With Daniel Murphy
(1 - 1:54am, Feb 28)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon GeeNewsblog
: ‘Tres Amigos’ lead new-look Red Sox’s scary offensive dynamo | New York Post
(17 - 1:44am, Feb 28)
Last: Dale SamsNewsblog
: A-Rod circus taking pressure off Gregorius at Yankees camp - NY Daily News
(11 - 1:13am, Feb 28)
: OT: Monthly NBA Thread - February 2015
(1187 - 11:47pm, Feb 27)Last:
Der-K is at full whelm.Newsblog
: OT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(635 - 11:25pm, Feb 27)Last:
: Johan Santana gets another chance, signs with Blue Jays
(24 - 11:02pm, Feb 27)