Saturday, October 25, 2014

Joe Maddon and the Twins managerial opening

Who, me? A few days ago, Joe Maddon was saying he
was going to remain with Tampa Bay; now he's fled.
Joe Maddon has built himself a reputation as one of the sharpest managers in baseball in his nine seasons at the helm of the Tampa Bay Rays.

On Friday he made himself a free agent, opting out of his contract with the Rays on the departure of his boss, Andrew Friedman,

Only one other team is without a manager at this point. The Twins.

Maddon's reputation is such that other teams will be willing to create an opening in order to land him. That might be a delicate operation, however, since the ethos of the managerial trade holds that one does not pursue a job someone else holds. The choreography involved in getting Maddon into the dugouts of the Cubs or Dodgers -- to name two teams immediately connected with him -- will be interesting indeed.

This is, no doubt, part of why some clubs (notably the Dodgers, where Friedman is now in charge of baseball operations) have already publicly declared that they won't pursue Maddon. What else are they going to say? Yeah, if we can get him, we'll fire our guy in a heartbeat, but until we do, our guy is still our guy. That might be the honest answer, but it's not one any general manager can give. For one thing, it would kinda dampen the enthusiasm of the incumbent.

Terry Ryan is the one GM without that problem. He indicated Friday that he'll at least gauge Maddon's interest in the Twins job. That, I'm guessing, is where it will end. Not because of money necessarily, but because of the circumstances.

It's worth noting that Maddon is not particularly young -- he's 60, a few years older than Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor and 20 years older than Doug Mientkiewicz. One might well doubt his interest in tackling a project as opposed to a ready-to-win club, all the more so since all indications are that Ryan intends to slow-play the arrival of Bryon Buxton and Miguel Sano.

If Maddon wants to play in a sandbox with a flock of young talent, he can probably go to the Cubs (who have a manager in Rick Renteria but no deep commitment to him) and have them in the majors without waiting. If he wants to manage a veteran squad, the Dodgers probably would rather than him than Don Mattingly.

No comments:

Post a Comment