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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