When Joe first came to town the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had just parted ways with Lou Pinella – my favorite baseball manager. (Lou managed my beloved Reds to a World Series title in 1990).
The owner and GM had never given Lou any legitimate talent. I often sat in the stands thinking, “I could almost make this ball club’s roster.” But that isn’t the point. Somewhere in my subconscious I didn’t give Joe Maddon a fair shake in the start because of how much I liked Lou.
Joe was and is an unconventional baseball manager. He doesn’t manage like the Joe Torres or Terry Franconas…he does it differently. I didn’t like it in the beginning. I am a baseball traditionalist. I was critical of his managing style and many of his managing decisions.
Well, long story short Joe has the Rays in the World Series. The Tampa Bay Rays have went from having the worst record in baseball 1 year ago – to playing for “all the marbles this week”.
So, I am here today to say that I was wrong about Joe Maddon. I have come to really like him as a manager. His players love him…that says something in professional sports.