"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Man for the Job

And here’s Pat Jordan on Joe Maddon:

Maddon likes to do what he calls “theme road trips.” There was the pajama road trip, the nerd road trip. For the nerd one, he had the players pose for a photo outside their chartered flight dressed in high-water pants, bow ties, and suspenders. “Some guys won’t do it,” Maddon says. “They think it’s not big-league. They can’t laugh at themselves.” David Price, the Rays’ Cy Young Award-winning left-hander, says, “He asks us for theme ideas. Once, we dressed as cowboys. It’s fun.” Ben Zobrist, a utility player for the Rays, adds, “Joe wants us to do one wearing skinny jeans. Never gonna happen.”

“You couldn’t do theme days with Alex Rodriguez,” I say.

Maddon shakes his head. “I dunno. I hope I could convince A-Rod to wear onesies. He’s not a bad guy.” He looks over at me. “I hear a lot of Yankees like him better than Jeter.”

Maddon says the most important thing he has to do as manager is listen to the players. “I coached for a manager once who told his guys, ‘There’s 25 of you and one of me, so you have to adjust to me.’ I hope I’m never like that guy. The days of dictatorial managers are over.”

When I tell him the hotdogging and emotional outbursts of B.J. Upton (the former Rays center fielder, now with the Atlanta Braves) offend my sense of the way the game should be played, Maddon says, “Aw, he’s a good kid. He was brought to the big leagues too soon. He had to make his mistakes in front of a lot of people and the media. He’s learning mental stuff he should have learned in the minors.”

[Photo Credit: Associated Press]


1 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 3, 2013 10:07 am

“I hear a lot of Yankees like him better than Jeter.”

way to be a shit stirrer, Joe

2 Ben   ~  Apr 3, 2013 10:42 am

Seems like an interesting guy. But RT, you're right. Shitty comment about Jeter.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 3, 2013 10:54 am

Guess Joe M is off Jeter's Christmas card list now.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 3, 2013 11:07 am

I think it's just gamesmanship on his part, trying to sow a little dissension in the ranks with a division rival. Which is fine, but not something I could picture any manager who's won a hell of a lot more than Joe Maddon ever doing.

What he's done there is impressive, but I still think it comes back to a) the front office being smart and b) them drafting in the Top 5 for a decade. He's good copy and a little bit of a character, so sportswriters fall all over themselves trying to praise him. Not saying that's what Jordan is doing that here, but when is the last time you heard anything remotely critical of Maddon?

5 bp1   ~  Apr 3, 2013 12:26 pm

[4] Yeah, it seems the whole world loves Maddon and is waiting anxiously for his first championship. Whatever. He has a schtick that has found the right time and place - just like Bobby V had once before. It won't translate well to other places - again like Bobby V - and it may not survive success and expectations over time. We'll see. I kinda roll my eyes. It's not like he hasn't made his fair share of dumb managerial moves during games. Guys like him shine for awhile and then tend to wear out their welcome.

[1] Yeah. That was unnecessary. Bush league quote, imho. Maybe he's "learning some mental stuff" in the big league, too.

6 bp1   ~  Apr 3, 2013 12:39 pm

I guess he likes taking shots at the Yankees:

I would never demand they give me a $100 million team. The same lineup every day like Joe Girardi? We're not supposed to win like the Yankees. That would be a boring concept to me.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

7 Dimelo   ~  Apr 3, 2013 1:17 pm

Maybe he was just being funny, I don't think he was saying it to start anything. I love Jeter as much as the next guy, but I doubt he was trying to insult or demean Jeter whatsoever. It all seems tongue-in-cheek to me.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 3, 2013 1:47 pm

7) Yeah I don't think he was trying to start anything either.

9 Ben   ~  Apr 3, 2013 2:21 pm

Don't know if he meant it, but... I think anytime someone is talking about Alex and contrasts him in anyway to Jeter, you gotta know you're irking the latter.

I predict Jeter bats 1.000 against the Rays this year! Or at least has some wickedly flung-down bats after hits ;)

10 bp1   ~  Apr 3, 2013 2:54 pm

[7] [8] Yeah I dunno. He's no fool - he knows what he's saying and how it will be perceived. The shot at Girardi and the Yankees later in the article - those things are not accidental. There's more to this than an innocent comment about Jeter and A-Rod. If I was a Rays fan I'd probably love that - but I'm not. It's cheap - and his team plays cheap (remember Cervi's ankle in Spring Training a few years ago).

Not a fan.

11 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 3, 2013 7:47 pm

[8] I think he was being serious. Jeter ribs the guys really hard for their mistakes. It's fun, but it can hurt. I have read quotes similar to this from some of the ex-players.

From what I've read, Alex seems to be more like a big brother to the younger players (especially the Spanish speakers) offering advice and guidance. Jeter is more "lead by example."

I can see what he's getting at. Also, he didn't swallow Jordan's bate to take a swipe at A-Rod. That's a good move. No one can touch Jeter.

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