Joe Maddon: Pickup artist
By all accounts, Rays manager Joe Maddon is a pretty hip dude. He’s an avid cyclist, taking a collapsible bike with him on road trips. His musical taste ranges from Pavarotti to Bruce Springsteen. He’s a connoisseur of fine wines. His glasses are a fashion statement. It was Maddon’s idea for the Rays to wear crazy costumes on road trips. He’s on record as saying he probably won’t cut his hair all season. He even does commercials for vitamins as if he were some kind of modern-day Hulk Hogan.
What I’m trying to say is, Joe Maddon may, in fact, be the most interesting man in the world. Or at least Major League Baseball.
“I think you kind of need to have that blessing when you walk into a
new place, before everybody feels comfortable with you,” Maddon says.
“You know what I liken it to? It’s almost like the
best-looking-girl-in-the-bar theory. Everybody’s afraid to talk to her
because she’s the best-looking girl in the bar. Well, Manny is one of
the best hitters since — I don’t know — Babe Ruth? So somebody’s
afraid to talk to him about hitting. And if they do, they’re going to be
less than forceful in their opinions because, after all, he’s Manny
“So it’s no different,” Maddon philosophizes. “For those
who are single, always approach that best-looking girl in the bar [and
say], ‘Excuse me.’ And for managers and coaches, always approach that
potential Hall of Fame player. He might want to hear what you have to
So there you have it. When in doubt, do what Joe Maddon would do: Suck it up, have some confidence and talk to good-looking ladies.
Now you know. And knowing’s half the battle.
- Before you do anything else, take a moment to bask in the genius of TinCaps head groundskeeper Keith Winter, the Most Interesting Groundskeeper in the World. Aside from Joe Maddon, he may be the top philosopher in all of baseball right now.
- The Padres got beat by the Brewers by a touchdown (with a former Michigan football player on the mound… surprise), but Fort Wayne alums Will Venable, Jedd Gyorko, Blake Tekotte, Daniel Robertson, Sawyer Carroll and Rymer Liriano all got into the game for San Diego.
- Sidearming RHP Pat Neshek made his Padres debut and has a decent shot to make the big-league roster.
- Padres RHP Aaron Harang has been doing a lot of video work, trying to get back to what made him successful with the Reds.
- Baseball America updates their organizational rankings to reflect some of the trades since the Prospect Handbook came out. The Padres moved up to No. 8 after the Cubs traded some of their top prospects to the Rays for Matt Garza.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer is on record saying Spring Training stats mean virtually nothing. Others think they mean something… unless they don’t. As usual, I’m in the Hoyer camp on this one.
- Former Fort Wayne RHP Jake Peavy played catch and will get the rehab process restarted soon.
- Midwest League alum LHP Clayton Kershaw is maturing as the ace of the Dodgers.
- There’s a preview out there for the Giants’ reality show on Showtime. It looks almost exactly like HBO’s 24/7 series, which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it may be the first reason ever to actually subscribe to Showtime.
- Orioles LHP Zach Britton is having a nice spring. I’m very skeptical of AL East pitching prospects… they get thrown into the meat grinder like nobody else in baseball.
- Angels 1B Kendrys Morales has some foot soreness. He’s the guy who broke his leg celebrating after a game-winning home run. Apparently the foot issue is a separate problem from the broken leg.
- The Phillies signed Luis Castillo right after he got released by the Mets, but now nobody can figure out why he was slow to report to Phillies camp. Sigh. Wasting talent is lame.
- Opening Day in Japan has been pushed back, not surprisingly.
- The Twins had a couple of beer vendors caught up in a “check-ID” sting.
- Will Rhymes will be the Tigers’ starting second baseman. They haven’t found a good alternative since Placido Polanco left.
- Yankees C Jesus Montero will probably start the season in Triple-A. Which is good, actually… Better than sitting on the bench in the big leagues.
- A Josh Hamilton-like story is unfolding at Marlins camp.
- The Cubs are getting a look at a former college football star whom they paid good money. And I’m not talking about RHP Jeff Samardzija. Who, by the way, is out of options this spring. If they don’t keep him in the big leagues, the Cubs would have to put Samardzija through waivers to send him to the minors. That whole situation stinks. They overpaid to get him to pass up football, he was rushed through the minors (at least partially because of the money) and now (surprise!) he’s not ready to be who they thought he’d be. Ugh.
- Don Zimmer is starting his 63rd season in baseball. The stories he could tell…
- I’m kind of mad that I missed the Supermoon the other night.
- Last night I got invited to crash a wedding reception. If you’re invited by someone other than the bride or groom, is it still considered crashing? Quasi-crashing?
- I can’t get enough of this: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki is asking fans to pick his new walk-up song, replacing “Party in the USA.” If it was me, I’d take the top five suggestions and pick it myself. Right now if I had to pick a walkup song, I’d go with an edited version of “The W.A.N.D.” by The Flaming Lips, “Your Touch” by The Black Keys, “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men, “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, “2 Legit 2 Quit” by M.C. Hammer or the chorus of “Ice Ice Baby.” And I’d force Tony DesPlaines to alternate songs every single at-bat, and he’d hate every sec
ond of it, but the crowd would go bananas.
Musical guest, with perhaps the greatest walkup song ever… Ted Nugent!