Monday, October 28, 2013

5 comments Jay Mariotti Wants to See the Rays Win the World Ser---Wait, They Lost to the Red Sox in the ALDS? In That Case, Jay Mariotti Wants Joe Maddon to Get a Job Managing a "Real" MLB Team Because the Rays Suck

I've linked the article about the Big East Tournament so many times everyone is tired of it, but Jay Mariotti has never been afraid to change course even after he has posted a column. The article I am referencing is where Jay completely re-wrote a column about the Big East Tournament where he went from criticizing the tournament for being irrelevant to reveling in the joy of the tournament...all because the Big East Tournament was exciting. He literally erased portions of his columns ripping the NCAA Tournament and then just replaced those words with how exciting the NCAA Tournament was. Jay is a whore. If he's not a whore then he is a mercenary writer. He has no beliefs and doesn't care who he works for as long as he is getting paid. His beliefs depend on what type of column he is currently writing. He doesn't want to work for a big, evil corporation after spending his entire writing career working for a big, evil corporation. So he writes an introduction on his new "Mariotti Show" site ripping large corporate sports networks. But hey, if ESPN calls and offers Jay a radio show and a writing opportunity don't doubt he is picking up the phone to hear them out.

I digress, but I felt I needed to in order to properly introduce one of Jay's columns so everyone understands that Jay doesn't believe what he writes. He just writes to get attention. After the Rays were eliminated from the ALDS by the Boston Red Sox, Jay wrote a column saying Joe Maddon deserves better than managing the Rays. This is an example of the typical sportswriter from a big city stating a manager isn't really relevant until he manages in a big city, which is just so impossibly stupid. Managing in a big city isn't a requirement for a manager to justify his status as being excellent at his job. Back to my point...on October 3 Jay Mariotti wrote a column stating he was cheering for the Rays to win the World Series. The same team who isn't worthy of being managed by Joe Maddon is worthy enough to have a World Series title. Go figure.

Here are some of the comments about the Rays that Jay made in his original column where he "hoped" the little guys win the World Series. It's funny how the Rays stink and aren't worthy of Joe Maddon once they've lost the ALDS, but prior to losing to the Red Sox the Rays don't stink quite enough to get Jay's support.

Being smart on a limited budget is way cooler these days than being stupid with $236.9 million.

Which explains why the Dodgers have a payroll very, very close to the Yankees payroll and Jay wrote an entire column about the Dodgers can't be beaten. I guess not having a limited budget is still cool, especially since Jay suggests six days after he wrote this October 3 column that Joe Maddon deserves to manage a team without a limited budget. So being smart on a limited budget is cool unless something happens and Jay has to change his point of view to where being smart on a limited budget is just being cheap. At that point, the manager of a team with a limited budget deserves to go to a team with a larger budget to maximize his potential as a manager. Yet, I disgress again. Jay's comments about the Rays from his October 3 column:

Yes, I’m openly rooting for the Rays, A’s and Pirates, even if it requires three flight connections and overtime pay to your GPS lady to find St. Petersburg, Oakland and Pittsburgh.

Right, because Pittsburgh is such a tiny city and Oakland isn't exactly small. But yeah Jay, are these cities even on a map?

Whether a championship is possible depends on those usual October variables: supreme pitching, experience in such moments and late-season hotness. Funny thing is, Tampa Bay has all three at the moment...In spite of such hardships, the Rays continue to look like a team that could beat anybody anywhere, advancing to the divisional round in Boston after winning two elimination games in three nights with typical airtight, Maddon-loose, pitching-and-fundamentals efficiency.

This is the same team that upon losing to the Red Sox is no longer worthy of Joe Maddon.

“Moneyball” became the norm for all franchises, small or large, but the Rays took shrewd front-office thinking to new and more consistent levels in recent years. While the A’s suffered through a lull period between the Brad Pitt era and their current run, Tampa Bay achieved something in 2008 that Beane has not — a World Series — and has continued to generate 90-win seasons while constantly dealing with low-budget constraints and hard-to-explain dumpings of star players. It’s astonishing that baseball boss Andrew Friedman, with basically no room for error, usually connects on every move, whether it’s something monumental like the James Shields-for-Wil Myers deal or seemingly trivial like the late-season pickup of Delmon Young, who ripped a big home run to help eliminate the Indians.

On October 3, the Rays were a well-run organization that dealt with budget constraints by continuing to win baseball games. Andrew Friedman connected on most moves and is probably one of the best GM's in baseball. It's funny how just six days later the Rays are no longer worthy of Maddon and he should go to a big city to prove he is a great manager, since the Rays suddenly don't deserve him. It's almost like Jay bases most of his criticism of the Rays on the outcome of the ALDS. What was once six days earlier a well-run organization that churned out 90-win seasons is now a cheap organization on the decline. Funny how sportswriters can base their conclusions all on the outcome of a five-game series.

People forget that Young, with Detroit, was MVP of the ALCS last autumn.

Jay apparently forgets that Young wasn't very good with the Phillies this year.

All of which is largely about the groovy vibe of Maddon, a master of positive reinforcement and gimmicks — you know about the penguins and snakes in the home clubhouse — intended to forge a fun atmosphere conducive to productive relaxation when October arrives. Oakland and Tampa Bay are mirror images in achieving the most with the fewest resources; at least The Trop has functional plumbing, unlike the deplorable Coliseum. On the flip side, Beane has just enough of a budget to chase a Cuban prodigy like Yoenis Cespedes; Tampa Bay doesn’t have the money to plunge into the global chase or buy major free agents.

But it's fun to cheer for the underdog, right? Well, as long as the underdog is winning of course. When the underdog loses, it's time to move Joe Maddon to a large market for him to prove what he has already proven in Tampa Bay.

Tell me: Why would anyone root for the Dodgers … or the Red Sox … or the there-every-year Cardinals … when you have three adorable overachievers?

That's a great point. Why would Joe Maddon leave to manage another team when he can manage a team full of adorable overachievers? Wait, we haven't gotten to the point where Jay bashes the Rays because the Rays haven't lost to the Red Sox yet.

Sounds like Tampa Bay. Sounds like Pittsburgh.

Sounds like the adorable kind of cause America should embrace this autumn, right?

Until the Rays lose, at which point fuck them, and they don't deserve to have Joe Maddon as their manager.

That is Jay's argument on October 9 at least. 

My wish for Joe Maddon is simple, a lot simpler than he is. I want him to end this quirky run as baseball’s groovy hipster skipper — you know, ditch the black glasses and unorthodox strategies and even the ’56 Chevy Bel-Air — and find a conventional baseball team to manage far, far away from downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.

Adorable overachievers these Rays are no more. Now they are cheapskates who are holding their manager back from achieving the only thing that determines whether a baseball manager is truly good at his job or not, which is managing a team that plays in a large market with access to plenty of money.

That team will have money, resources, fans, a real ballpark.

Isn't it interesting how Andrew Friedman has gone from a guy who connects on every move (and helped the Rays make the playoffs four out of the last six years, which isn't something very many MLB teams can claim) to a guy presiding over a team with no resources or money? The script gets flipped when Jay sees a negative outcome, doesn't it?

I do agree with the Rays needing a real ballpark. Other than that, there's no guarantee Maddon would do better with a team that has more money and resources.

That team will not have a 20-foot python and penguins in the clubhouse, a 10,000-gallon fish tank with live cownose rays, and stadium catwalks that are in play if a ball strikes one.

If Joe Maddon is the manager then the team will have a 20-foot python and penguins in the clubhouse. That's the kind of manager that Joe Maddon is. I think the fish tank with the rays is kind of a neat thing for the Rays to have in order for kids to come to the game and have something to do should they get bored. After all, if the Rays are going to have such a crappy ballpark they may as well have something no other ballpark can claim to have...and the stadium catwalk which comes into play on pop-ups doesn't count.

It’s the only way Maddon will be perceived nationally as what he truly is — a wonderful manager and all-demographics ambassador of a sport that needs fun, smart characters —

Maybe for Jay Mariotti this is a true statement, but he doesn't speak for baseball fans everywhere (I shudder at the thought of Jay Mariotti speaking for anyone but himself). Maddon doesn't need to play for a team with money and resources to be recognized as one of the best managers in baseball. In fact, what he has done with the limited payroll and resources the Rays have only exemplifies how he is the best manager in baseball. Give Maddon more resources and money for players and his success as a manager can be waved away by saying he is expected to win baseball games with a $125 million payroll. Maddon's quirkiness isn't going away and what makes him a great manager would be diminished by giving him a larger payroll and higher expectations. 90-win seasons would be expected from him.

The man has taken this adorable little puppy about as far he possibly can, and after yet another divisional-round elimination, it’s now been five years since the Rays played in their one and only World Series.

My God! Five whole years! No wonder Dusty Baker got fired by the Reds. He hadn't managed them into the World Series the entire time he was there. Five years of not representing the American League in the World Series is far too long. Mike Scioscia and Ron Gardenhire should be fired too. I'm shocked the Braves didn't fire Bobby Cox in 2004 and allow him to find a job with another team in a larger market with a higher payroll after the Braves failed to make the World Series for the FIFTH STRAIGHT year. It's unheard of for a manager to stick around after such a long history of failure. Free Joe Maddon and let him go to another team where his success as a manager can be chalked up to the payroll and resources his team has, rather than attributed to Maddon's skill as a manager in helping a lower payroll team make the playoffs four of six seasons.

One large reason for that consistent overachievement is Maddon, but after awhile, even he must wonder how he’d fare with a Boston payroll, a San Francisco ballpark, a Mike Trout in the lineup.

Because we all know from the 2012 Miami Marlins Experience the higher the payroll, the nicer the ballpark and the more talented the roster then the better that team will perform on the field, right? Money can buy a team's success if the right players are getting paid the money (ahem, the Dodgers), but it also may not mean jackshit if the highly paid players don't perform on the field.

His latest October setback was a 3-1 loss to the Red Sox, who advance to the American League championship series, that can be viewed as either a chess match or a farce. Understandably showing little faith in Game 4 starter Jeremy Hellickson, whose talents are overwhelmed by his erratic streaks, Maddon yanked him at his first sign of trouble in the second inning — four-pitch walks of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli and a single by Daniel Nava.

This was a move that completely worked by the way. It sucks to lose a starter so quickly, but it got the Rays out of trouble in the first inning with no runs scored. The bottom line is that the postseason is a crapshoot at times. Managers can do some things to help his team win or do some things to help his team lose. The fact the Rays lost AGAIN in the playoffs doesn't mean Maddon has maxed out his ability as the Rays manager and should immediately go find a team with a higher payroll to manage. The Rays are good at finding young talent and maximizing that talent until it becomes expensive and then allows other teams to overpay for these players (see: Crawford, Carl or Upton, B.J.). There's always a chance the Rays will make another World Series. Going to a different team doesn't mean Maddon's genius will be even more recognized.

But this led to a calvalcade of relievers who performed well until the inevitable crash — Joel Peralta’s wild pitch in a two-run Boston seventh and Fernando Rodney’s latest failue in the ninth. In the end, the Rays simply don’t have the offense to mash the Boston mashers, and consider it a byproduct of having only a $62 million payroll.

It's also a byproduct of Jake Peavy pitching 5.2 innings of five-hit ball and the Red Sox getting 3.1 innings of one-hit ball from their bullpen. But yeah, it was mostly the Rays payroll that was the issue, not the Red Sox stellar pitching. Great analysis, Jay.

You can scratch out only so many victories before bigger lumber prevails.

I'm not sure what this even means. How do we know which team has "bigger lumber" until the game is over? So a team can scratch out victories until they lose the series? Great point.

Wild improvisation doesn’t win championships.

You mean putting Max Scherzer in the game with the bases loaded and no outs and having him get out of a jam is a bad idea? Tell Jim Leyland that. How about having Kirk Gibson come off the bench to bat in Game 1 of the World Series even though he can't run? That's a bad idea? The point was to win Game 4 so the Rays could force a Game 5. Maddon's improvisation and use of his relievers almost did work. It wasn't his wild improvisation that lost the game for the Rays, it was the Red Sox pitching which didn't allow the Rays to score that sealed the ALDS for Boston. I believe no matter which team with however large of a payroll that Maddon was managing he would have made a similar move. His starting pitcher was struggling and he had to make a move to give his team a chance to win the game and minimize the damage in the first inning.

The norm still applies — a quality start, an effective relief performance, a closer with the lockdown — and Boston’s Jake Peavy, Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara were better than Maddon’s nine-man roll call.

Well yes, getting a quality start from your starting pitcher followed by relievers giving up 1 hit over 3.1 innings is always a nice and preferred strategy. When the Rays starting pitcher loads the bases with no outs in an elimination game though, it's time to start thinking of different types of strategies. That's what Joe Maddon did and having him go manage a different MLB team would not stop him from improvising from time-to-time. He may just improvise with higher paid players, which wouldn't guarantee he would have greater success in his improvisation.

Crazier still, David Price was warming in the bullpen for a 10th-inning stint in case the Rays rallied. Other than Raymond, the team mascot, just who was going to be left to start Game 5?

Theoretically Jeremy Hellickson could have started Game 5. Or maybe Craig Kimbrel could have started since he's so well-rested. The Braves aren't planning on using him anytime soon in an elimination game, so maybe they will loan him to the Rays so he could pitch a couple of innings for them.

Jay is tying in the Rays lack of quality pitching in the ALDS into why Maddon needs to be released from the binding chains that is the Rays organization, but there is no guarantee Maddon would have better luck or better pitching if he went to work for a different organization. There were teams with high payrolls that didn't make the playoffs and didn't have good team ERA's this year, including Philadelphia, Toronto, the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, and the Texas Rangers.

It's just silly to tie in Joe Maddon's improvisational tendencies to him managing a smaller market, lower payroll team. Possibly Maddon's managerial style fits better with a lower payroll team than it would with a higher payroll team. I'm not sure why all of a sudden the Rays are a team who will only have limited success and Maddon needs to go to another MLB team to achieve his potential as a manager. Again, much of what makes Maddon great is what he does with the limited resources the Rays have.

The topic is moot. The Rays have been beaten, again.

Yes, but they made the playoffs, again. For the fourth time in six years. This isn't something many MLB teams can state they have done over the last decade.

Though it appears Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto will remain as that franchise’s manager and general manager, the two have had disagreements and likely will have a short shelf life together.

And really, wasn't the entire problem with the Angels this year the lack of a good manager and not the underperformance of expensive free agents like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, as well as a pitching staff that was 24th in ERA, 26th in batting average against, 14th in quality starts and 24th in OPS against? It's just bad managing on Mike Scioscia's part obviously that causes Hamilton, Pujols and the pitching staff to struggle.

That could open a managerial job for Maddon if, say, Scioscia moves upstairs as GM.

Because anytime there is a disagreement between the manager and general manager of a team, it is common for ownership to choose a side and then give the winner of the disagreement the organizational position of the loser in the disagreement? I imagine Scioscia would keep Dipoto's head on a stick outside his office as a reminder that he not only won the disagreement, but took Dipoto's organizational position.

Even if the Angels ownership or upper management picks a side, are they going to give Scioscia Dipoto's job as GM or are they going to simply hire a new GM that fits with Scioscia's philosophy as a manager? Why would the Angels move a manager they clearly like out of his job into a position that he has no experience in? Just to hire Joe Maddon? I'm not sure that makes sense.

Imagine managing a team with 40,000 in the stands every night, a $165 million payroll, a lineup with Trout and Albert Pujols and a wayward soul named Josh Hamilton who could use faith-healing.

I imagine Maddon wouldn't be looked so kindly upon because the media would thrust unrealistic expectations upon him. I also imagine Joe Maddon can't magically make Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton a better hitter. Yes, Maddon would have more resources to work with if he managed the Angels, but why does he have to go to Los Angeles to prove himself as a manager? I don't understand why Maddon deserves a team with a higher payroll and more resources, as if this is a gift and not a burden of heightened expectations.

He wouldn’t have to be the Maddon Scientist anymore. 

But he may choose to still be the Maddon Scientist. That very well could be Joe Maddon's managerial style. So he would still bring animals into the locker room and make improvisational pitching changes, but just do it with a team that has a higher payroll. More importantly, why is it that Jay wants the Rays to win the World Series while painting them as the organization-that-could, then six days later state the Rays have hit their ceiling and are now an organization-that-never-will? There's nothing like a knee jerk reaction to a playoff loss. 
My wish for Joe Maddon is simple, a lot simpler than he is. I want him to end this quirky run as baseball’s groovy hipster skipper — you know, ditch the black glasses and unorthodox strategies and even the ’56 Chevy Bel-Air — and find a conventional baseball team to manage far, far away from downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.
Being smart on a limited budget is way cooler these days than being stupid with $236.9 million.
Being smart on a limited budget is way cooler these days than being stupid with $236.9 million.
Being smart on a limited budget is way cooler these days than being stupid with $236.9 million.
Being smart on a limited budget is way cooler these days than being stupid with $236.9 million.


Murray said...

Madden used about a pitcher per batter one game and intentionallylost his DH. He's a look at me I'm so smart ass hat

(Red Sox fan so I hate him FWIW)

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, I can see you don't like him. So you don't think he deserves a shot with a "real" team? I think once Maddon starts doing that stuff in a large market he won't be considered as smart anymore.

Murray said...

I don't think a veteran large payroll team will buy some of the harry high school crap he's selling

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, that's entirely possible. I think he fits Tampa Bay pretty well personally. Obviously Jay Mariotti disagrees.

Murray said...

Oh I think he's a perfect fit for Tampa.