Joe Maddon Keeps Things Fresh

Coach Ron Meyer: Joe Maddon Keeps Things Fresh

One of the hardest things that a baseball manager or a football/basketball coach has to deal with is keeping the attention of his players. You see it time and time again in all professional sports. A new leader has success at first. But, eventually, things get stale and his players tune him out.

Maddon has been the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays since the 2006 season. That seems like an eternity these days, where coaches and managers are fired all the time because their teams can't win, or because they can't win enough. Maddon helped turn a losing franchise into a perennial contender even though the team has a small payroll by Major League standards. His teams have been the equals of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox even though they don't have the same resources.

Does Maddon deserve all the credit for that? No. This particular front office is brilliant when it comes to finding valuable young talent and getting the most bang for their buck. But, Maddon is the perfect field leader for a franchise that has to go this route. Among the reasons:

  • He works well with young players! Tampa Bay generally has to churn talent because they eventually can't afford the stars they help create. Maddon keeps young players enthusiastic, confident, and composed. This is no small feat given the pressures of playing in the toughest division in baseball. Certain types of managers are awful at dealing with youngsters, because they don't have the patience to wait through the growing pains. Maddon uses those as teaching moments and builds ballplayers.

  • He's always keeping things fresh. Tampa Bay has used more different starting lineups this year in the majors than anyone else. By a mile. He doesn't let his players get into ruts. You may have heard that he moved Carlos Pena to the leadoff spot during a slump? Who would do that? A guy who knows that a change of pace often fixes slumps! The players are always on their toes...but in a fun way rather than a "I'm going to lose my job if I screw up" way. Most coaches and managers don't have the courage to try stuff that Maddon does all the time. It really sets him apart.

  • He doesn't care what anyone else thinks. This is very important because too many managers and coaches fall into the trap of trying to keep the media off their backs. They figure any experiment that fails is just going to get them blasted in the local press. Maddon doesn't care. He's trying to win. He's trying to have fun. He's trying to build ballplayers and make a run at the top of the division. How many columnists could run a team? NONE!

  • He teaches his players to be very aggressive. You can see that with his pitching staffs, which are generally high in strikeouts. You can see that offensively too because the team is always trying to manufacture an extra run. If you make the games intense, then everyone's always paying attention. The worst thing you can do as a manager or coach is to get passive and just assume everything's going to take care of itself. You lose the players that way, and you lose your initiative. Maddon's mindset is perfect for this style. Intensity and optimism gets a lot done at the professional level.

Tampa Bay opens a big series in Boston tonight against the Red Sox. I always pay close attention whenever the Rays are playing Boston or New York. This year I have to add in Baltimore too! That series will be featured on the MLB Network tonight, FOX on Saturday Night, and on TBS Sunday you'll have plenty of opportunities to see Maddon in action on the road in a very important series.

I may or may not be playing tonight's game for my clients...but there's a good chance I'll be involved in at least one of the meetings this weekend. You can purchase my baseball plays every day right here at the website with your credit card. I'll also have NBA playoff action Saturday, Sunday, and Monday through Memorial Day weekend as well. If you have any questions about my service, please call my handicapping office at 1-877-540-8787.

Tampa Bay has been a huge success story in Major League Baseball because they've had the right man in the dugout the past several seasons. If you've been struggling with your Las Vegas betting, it's time to put A COACH IN YOUR CORNER. Hook up with RON MEYER today!


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