Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Joe Maddon Was Never Going to be the Dodger Manager

Jon Heyman at CBS Sports broke some big MLB news just a moment ago.  He has reported on twitter that the Cubs will hire Joe Maddon to be their next manager.

Per Heyman's story at CBS Sports:
The Cubs deny that a deal is done, but people familiar with the dealings say that it is certain to be completed in coming days, and that Maddon would indeed be the next Cubs manager.

The contract, once finalized, is expected to make Maddon one of the highest-paid managers in baseball and quite likely the best-paid in the National League. Mike Scioscia's Angels deal pays him $5 million annually, so he sets the standard.
I would expect, keeping Bud Selig's desire to keep the games focus on the World Series in mind, that any announcement will come later this week or early next.

BTW, It should come as no surprise that the Dodgers were not a part of any discussions with Maddon.  After all, the team had stated emphatically that a managerial change was not being considered and that Don Mattingly would be our skipper for the immediate future. 

When you also consider that relationships and maintaining good contacts within the upper echelons of the MLB is just as important as smarts, you come away with a better understanding that there was no way Maddon would be wearing Dodger Blue in 2015.

After all, by all accounts Andrew Friedman left Tampa Bay on the best of terms, and he would likely want to continue a positive working relationship with his former bosses and colleagues.  So, muddying the waters by going after Joe, when everyone will suspect tampering (back-stabbing, if you will), would be an unnecessary stain on the start of his leadership as President of Baseball Operations.

In other words, if he wants to succeed in his new position with the Dodgers by making certain on-field changes then he'll need not only the cooperation of folks within the franchise, but the help of other team executives to get things done.  If he burns his bridges with the Rays then it could potentially make it that much harder to find cooperative trade partners in the immediate future since his 'word' would be less trustworthy.

That's just my two cents.

UPDATE:  I think the below sentence from a story a couple of weeks ago by Tampa Bay Times reporter Marc Topkin further emphasizes the point that Maddon was likely never approached by Friedman or the Dodgers.
While principal owner Stuart Sternberg said no Rays baseball operations staffers would be joining the Dodgers, Friedman said that could change in time, but "I'm not looking to hurt the Tampa Bay Rays."

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: DODGERFEST!

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


This is the big Dodger signing event of the winter.  Frank & Sons in the City of Industry is hosting DODGERFEST this coming Saturday, and a whole bunch of former Dodger players will be there.  Check out the flyer below.  You can also go here or here for more information.  The first link for Hall of Fame sports includes prices and appearance times for all of the players.  Go here for that.  BTW, there are a handful of Baseball/sports card and memorabilia dealers at this show, so there is plenty to do. 

If you do attend I suggest getting there very early.  Parking availability at this facility is horrible... Like really horrible... Like so bad it always makes me think twice about attending events there.
Frank & Son Collectible Show
19649 E. San Jose Ave.
City of Industry, CA. 91748

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Blog Kiosk: 10/29/2014 - Dodger Links - Howard for Hodges, Tommy Davis and GO ROYALS!

Lexi knows what's up!  If she can do it twice, so can you.  This photo was shared on twitter by @MLBFanCave and came via @kc85wilson on twitter, and it's the greatest thing I've seen on twitter in a long time.  Go Royals Go!

As you know Game 7 of the World Series is tonight, and if your not paying attention to it then you're missing out.  This is the kind of event all sports fans dream of.  After 162 game season, a wild card game, two playoff league series and six games in the finals we are down to just one more game.  It's THE final game of the year and I suspect both teams will leave everything they've got on the field. 

Mike Oz at Big League Stew tells us about the "Seven of the most memorable World Series Game 7s in baseball history" that is definitely worth checking out before tonight's game.  If I had to choose the best of the seven I'd go with the Sandy Koufax's shutout against the Twins in the 1965 series - obviously. 

Below are some more links to check out:
“I tell everybody I was a Bible hitter,” Davis said. “When they say, ‘What does that mean, I’d say, ‘Thou shalt not pass. The first pitch is coming, I’m swinging.’”
  • Cary also tells us about the historical connections between the Dodgers and the Lakers/NBA.  I'm surprised to learn how many NBA players were once a part of the Dodger system.
  • Dodger owner/partner Peter Gruber shares a video on twitter that tells us a bit about the value of player analytics to the Dodgers:

  • Topps is now getting into limited edition apparel.  They are now offering a 1988 Dodgers 'Miracle Men' Orel Hershiser patch Baseball cap limited to just 99copies for $39.99.  Check it out here.  See a pic of it on the right.  Limited edition patch caps also exist for Reggie Jackson, Alan Trammel, Willie Stargell, Gary Carter, Rollie Fingers and Ryne Sandberg.
  • I've got mad respect for Blazer's Edge.  (Hat Tip via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA)
  • Via Joe Posnanski at NBC Sports, "Vanguard after the Revolution: Bill James sparked a baseball insurrection, but he has regrets about the world he wrought." 
He groans whenever he hears people discount leadership or team chemistry or heart because they cannot find such things in the data. He has done this himself in the past … and regrets it.

“I have to take my share of responsibility for promoting skepticism about things that I didn’t understand as well as I might have,” he says. “What I would say NOW is that skepticism should be directed at things that are actually untrue rather than things that are difficult to measure.

“Leadership is one player having an effect on his teammates. There is nothing about that that should invite skepticism. People have an effect on one another in every area of life. … We all affect another’s work. You just can’t really measure that in an individual-accounting framework.”
  • BTW, for the third season in a row Anaheim Angels slugger Mike Trout won the 2014 Stan Musial Award from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  In the National League Clayton Kershaw won the award.  The Stan Musial Award recognizes the MVP in each league. I had picked Kershaw on my National League ballot.  Go here to see who were my picks for the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) Post Season Awards.

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