Friday, October 24, 2014

Joe Maddon Opts Out of Contract With Rays... Should We Care?

When I first read the news that Joe Maddon had opted out of his contract with the Tampa Rays I wasn't going to write about it. After all, it's not Yankees news, so should a Yankees blog bring it up?

Well, seeing as how plenty of people despise Girardi, and love Maddon, then of course it should. Never mind the fact that the Yankees signed Girardi to a four year contract before the 2014 season. They could always buy out the final three years on that deal and go for the other "Joe". But should they?

I admit that I'm not the biggest Girardi supporter. While I think he's done a great job managing the bullpen, he can tinker with things like the lineup and pitching match-ups too much. But you can do the same type of pros and cons list with anybody.

While Maddon is put on a pedestal for doing things like using defensive shifts long before other teams did, he's also called for more sacrifice bunts than he should have. Yeah, this sabermetric-minded manager, who has spoke out against the sac bunt in years past, was responsible for the 2014 Rays laying down more non-pitcher sac bunts than any other team in MLB.

However, I'm not interested in going over each manager's pluses and minuses as on-field managers. Heck, if you want, I'll go ahead and say that Joe Maddon is better than Joe Girardi. I don't really care. But my problem with the Yankees employing Maddon over Girardi is that I'm not sold on the idea that Maddon is an overall better fit for the Yankees.

Face it, Maddon is a bit of a hot-head. After Boston's John Lackey hit Matt Joyce in the postseason a couple of years back, Maddon went off about on Lackey, calling him a bad teammate. You can say that it's great that the manager would back-up his player like that, but the fact of the matter is he's just adding fuel to the fire. Pitchers hit batters on purpose, and sometimes it's completely uncalled for, but it happens and you have to move on. Instead of making sure his team was focused on what was important, and that be winning the next game and the series, Maddon did the opposite and dwelled on the past.

And while you may find it endearing that Maddon has worn some funky clothes and hairstyles, and there has been plenty of silliness in the Rays locker room, I find it unprofessional and too laid back. Baseball is a multi-billion dollar business. I don't care what type of company it is, if I'm the owner of said company I don't want it run by some unpredictable maverick. Especially if my company is one of the largest and most well-known sports entities in the World.

Furthermore, I can't help but think wanting Maddon over Girardi is yet another case of people thinking the grass is always greener on the other side. But is it?

In seven seasons as the Yankees skipper, Girardi has led the Yankees to a World Series title, as well as three other postseason appearances. And don't you dare bring up the name "Joe Torre", because if you think Girardi has had nearly as much talent on the team as Torre did, then you're flat-out nuts. You can add a myriad of injuries, plenty of them to key players, to the challenges that's faced Girardi over the years too.

So while he's got his downsides, I'm more than happy to see Joe Girardi return as the Yankees' manager in 2015.

Now... about those rumors of Don Mattingly being the new Yankees hitting coach...

Give it to me!


  1. Right after posting this I read a comment from Andrew Friedman, the new President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers, saying Mattingly will return to as their manager next season.

    1. Commonly known as the "kiss of death".

  2. Yeah and Bubba Crosby will be the Yankees 2006 Opening Day center fielder too Mr. Van Dusen :P


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