Sunday Notes: Joe Maddon is Glad He Didn’t Get the Boston Job

Two years earlier than being employed to regulate the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Joe Maddon interviewed for the task in Boston. The winter-of-2003 vetting via the then Red Sox decision-makers — a topic I broached with Maddon in a 2007 interview — didn’t undergo fruit… however what if it had? Earlier this week, I requested the proud son of Hazleton, Pennsylvania what would possibly have came about had he began his big-league managerial occupation in Boston.

“I don’t think it would have turned out as well,” spoke back Maddon, who spent 9 years in Tampa earlier than happening to regulate the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels. “I wasn’t ready for that; I wasn’t ready for that market. Theo [Epstein] and Jed [Hoyer] made a great decision. Tito was the right guy.”

History bears that out. Four years got rid of from managing the Philadelphia Phillies for the similar selection of seasons, Terry Francona led the Red Sox to their first World Series name since 1918. While Maddon went directly to win a World Series of his personal, with the Cubs in 2016 — the crew’s first since 1908 — hiring a first-year supervisor as Grady Little’s alternative wouldn’t had been in Boston’s highest pursuits. Nor in Maddon’s.

“I needed more time to really develop what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to do it,” defined Maddon, whose managerial resume contains 9 90-plus-win seasons. “I really did need more of an expansion team than a tradition-based team at that point. I could experiment. I could try different things that weren’t very popular, or that nobody had thought about. I needed that wider berth, and the support that I got from Andrew [Friedman] at that particular time. So, thank God for unanswered prayers. I wanted the Red Sox job, but it was so much better for me to start out with the Devil Rays.”

The time period “baseball guy” is steadily outlined via old-school varieties as being polar reverse to “analytics nerd.” Given that he’d reduce his enamel with considered one of the recreation’s maximum data-driven organizations, I requested Maddon the place Friedman — now the president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers — suits into that equation.

“He’s one of the best scouts I’ve ever met,” spoke back Maddon, whose early include of analytic ideas, and his willingness to assume out of doors the field, are widely known. “There’s always a separator. Andrew is a real baseball junkie, so not everybody is cut from the same cloth. I didn’t play in the big leagues either — I just played in the minor leagues — so it isn’t fair to clump everybody together. To me, Andrew is a ‘baseball guy.’”

Maddon, who hopes to in the future organize in the huge leagues once more, is a newly-published creator. The Book of Joe: Trying Not To Suck at Baseball and Life, which he co-wrote with Tom Verducci, got here out final week.

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RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS

Lance Berkman went 10 for 14 towards Tony Armas Jr.

Tony Armas Sr. went 11 for 21 towards Roy Lee Jackson.

Craig Biggio went 11 for 22 towards Danny Jackson.

Willie Mays Aikens went 4 for 4 towards Jackson Todd.

Todd Hollandsworth went 9 for 19 towards Todd Stottlemyre.

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Back in August, Ben Clemens referred to as Trevor Stephan, The Best Reliever You’ve Never Heard Of. My colleague went on to explain the 26-year-old right-hander’s repertoire, which contains a plus fastball, a splitter, and a sweeping slider. Calling the final of the ones choices Stephan’s highest pitch, he famous that previous to becoming a member of the Cleveland Guardians by way of the 2020 Rule 5 draft, Stephan “was a member of the Yankees organization, and they’re excellent at teaching that pitch.”

Talking to Stephan on the ultimate weekend of the common season, I discovered that the sweeper was once already a part of his arsenal when he was once taken in the 3rd spherical of the 2017 draft out of the University of Arkansas.

“I had it already,” defined Stephan, who got here out of the Guardians bullpen 66 instances this yr and logged a 2.69 ERA and a 2.19 FIP, with 82 strikeouts in 63-and-two-thirds innings. “By the time I left the Yankees org, I guess everybody was kind of teaching the whirly, but it’s the slider that I threw before I ever heard the word ‘whirly.’ So it’s not something that I ever tried to make sweep. It was more of a natural slider for me.”

The splitter, which Stephan threw 27.7% of the time this season, is a pitch that had resided in his again pocket for 5 years. He’d begun throwing it at Hill [junior] College, simplest to paintings on growing a standard changeup after becoming a member of the Yankees device. Never growing a really feel for a circle exchange, he made the resolution to return to a break up. Hitters batted .153 towards the providing this yr, and .217 towards the sweeping slider he’s all the time had.

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A quiz:

Only two pitchers in Seattle Mariners historical past have received 20 or extra video games in one season. Who are they?

The solution may also be discovered under.

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NEWS NOTES

The Colorado Rockies introduced this week that Dave Magadan received’t be returning subsequent season. Magadan were the crew’s hitting since December 2018. First base trainer Stu Cole, who has been in the group since 1995, additionally received’t be bck subsequent yr.

Marv Staehle, an infielder who gave the impression in 185 big-league video games from 1964-1971, died not too long ago at age 80. The Oak Park, Illinois local performed his first 4 seasons with the Chicago White Sox and logged 77 of his 94 occupation hits with the Montreal Expos.

Dick Ellsworth, who pitched for 5 other groups from 1958-1971, died on Monday at age 82. The southpaw’s highest season got here in 1963 when he went 22-10 with a 2.11 ERA for the Chicago Cubs. He went 16-7 with a three.03 for the Boston Red Sox in 1968.

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The solution to the quiz is Jamie Moyer and Randy Johnson. The Big Unit went 20-4 for the Mariners in 1997, whilst Moyer went 20-6 in 2001 and 21-7 in 2003.

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Koudai Senga has been discussed steadily right here in Sunday Notes, partly as a result of he’s been considered one of the NPB’s maximum dominant pitchers, but in addition as a result of his said hobby to take his abilities to MLB. Yesterday, the 29-year-old right-hander got here one step nearer to his purpose. According to Sankei Sports, Senga has opted out of his contract with the SoftBank Hawks and can pursue alternatives stateside.

Matt Moore performed with Senga in 2020, so I requested the 33-year-old Texas Rangers southpaw what he recollects about his former teammate’s overpowering arsenal.

“I couldn’t tell you pitch-grade stuff,” mentioned Moore, “but I feel like every pitch he threw seemed plus, because of the swings that he would get on them — the type of domination he had. Hitters were swinging at pitches that were landing in front of the plate, and they were taking balls that were painted in the zone. His first pitch of the game, he would throw at 161 kilometers, which is about 100-101 [mph], and he carried that velocity really well. He’s a beast. Senga was probably the best ace I saw over there.”

Moore proceeded to convey up a 26-year-old left-hander who will probably be pitching for Cuba in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

“The best arm over there was actually one of our relievers, Liván Moinelo,” opined Moore. “He’s a lefty, and wow, that guy has got a really nasty curveball.”

A 26-year-old local of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Moinelo had 24 saves with SoftBank this season, in addition to a 1.03 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 52-and-two-thirds innings.Per Tokyo-based baseball scribe Jim Allen, Moinelo reportedly signed a three-year contract with the Hawks final November.

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The Orix Buffaloes received their Pacific League playoff sequence towards the SoftBank Hawks and can as soon as once more face the Yakult Swallows in NPB’s Japan Series. Yaukult received final yr’s championship sequence in six video games.

Yakult complex to the Japan Series via ousting the Hanshin Tigers. Hanshin had begun the season via shedding their first 9 video games, and 20 in their first 24, earlier than convalescing to complete 3rd in the Central League.

The Seibu Lions have named Kaz Matsui their new supervisor. The 46-year-old former infielder performed 17 NPB seasons, 10 of them with Seibu, and 7 extra in MLB. He had 2,885 reliable hits.

The KT Wiz received this yr’s KBO Wildcard Game, beating the Kia Tigers 6-2. Jung-dae Bae led the approach with a couple of hits and 3 RBIs.

Zach Reks slashed .330/.410/.495 with 8 house runs in 251 plate appearances for the Lotte Giants. The 28-year-old outfielder signed with the KBO membership after being launched via the Texas Rangers in August.

Anthony Alford slashed .286/.362/.509 with 14 house runs in 323 plate appearances for the KT Wiz. The 28-year-old outfielder signed with the KBO membership after being launched via the Cleveland Guardians in May.

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Eve Rosenbaum was once a featured visitor on this week’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, and considered one of the subjects I addressed with the Baltimore Orioles assistant common supervisor was once the group’s hitting-development program. I requested if there were any directional shifts relating to which information and coaching practices are maximum valued.

“One thing that I really stressed when I was the director of baseball development — which everyone was on board with here — is that we’re constantly learning,” spoke back Rosenbaum, who was once promoted to her present place in June. “We’re continuously adjusting our hitting philosophies in line with what we’ve discovered. An enormous factor we pass from side to side on is how we stability energy as opposed to touch. The entire league has been running at this.… I used to be simply chatting with Koby Perez, our world scouting director, about it, the way it affects gamers he’s signed, and in the draft.

“At first, we were really focused on, ‘Hey, let’s develop a ton of power,’” endured Rosenbaum. “Then he said, ‘You know what, Eve? With some players, we should focus more on contact.’ But do you know what? Contact is really hard to develop, so maybe let’s roll that back and focus on, ‘How can we draft players that are already going to make a lot of contact, and then we can focus more on developing the power aspect. So, it’s a constant back and forth.”

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FARM NOTES

Los Angeles Dodgers infield prospect Michael Busch and Washington Nationals outfield prospect Jacob Young every scored 118 runs, tied for the maximum in the minors this season. Busch had 108 RBIs, whilst Young completed with 46 RBIs.

T.J. Rumfield is 12 for 23 with 4 doubles and one house run for the Arizona Fall League’s Mesa Solar Sox. Drafted in the twelfth spherical final yr via the Phillies out of Virginia Tech, the 22-year-old first baseman was once traded to the New York Yankees final November in the deal that despatched Nick Nelson to Philadelphia.

Matt Mervis is 6 for 22 with two doubles and 4 house runs for the Solar Sox. The 24-year-old first baseman was once signed as a non-drafted unfastened agent via the Chicago Cubs out of Duke University in 2020.

Heston Kjerstad is 14 for 38 with 4 doubles and 3 house runs for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The 23-year-old outfielder was once drafted 2d total via the Baltimore Orioles in 2020 out of the University of Arkansas.

Austin Martin is 13 for 28 with two doubles and one house run for the Glendale Desert Dogs. Drafted 5th total via the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020 out of Vanderbilt University, the 23-year-old shortstop was once traded to the Minnesota Twins in July 2021 as a part of the José Berríos deal.

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During Friday’s broadcast of ALDS Game 2, a digital camera panned to Eli Morgan warming up in the Cleveland Guardians’ bullpen, The right-hander was once hatless, prompting Bob Costas to casually state that he can be placing one on if/when he enters the recreation. That had me considering: Would Morgan must put on a hat?

Looking at the rulebook, I came upon that hats aren’t in particular discussed. The rules do state that “No player whose uniform not conform to that of his teammates shall be permitted to participate in a game.”

That led me to some other idea: Could a complete crew take the box sans hats? Going strictly via the rulebook, the solution seems to be sure. At the similar time, I think that an MLB umpiring staff wouldn’t permit it. A laws knowledgeable I checked with opined the similar. Hats can be worn.

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LINKS YOU’LL LIKE

Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein talked to former Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who now runs football groups in Spain and Mexico.

Andscape’s Justice B. Hill wrote about how Triston McKenzie has arrived as an MLB celebrity and a mentor.

At The Sporting News, Mike DeCourcy regarded again at “The night the Pirates died” — Pittsburgh’s heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 NLCS.

At The Athletic, Peter Gammons wrote about how baseball is coming again to us with optimism and aptitude after a number of of its hardest years (subscription required).

Former Angels communications director Eric Kay was once sentenced to 22 years in federal jail for his position in the dying of Tyler Skaggs. Nathan Fenno has the tale at The Los Angeles Times.

Baseball America gave us a team-by-team rundown of MiLB park components for the 2022 season.

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RANDOM FACTS AND STATS

The Yankees hit 8 triples this season, the fewest in the majors. Lou Gehrig had 10 or extra triples 9 instances, together with a occupation top 20 in 1926.

Reggie Jackson had a 1.212 OPS in 116 World Series plate appearances. He had a .679 OPS in 181 ALDS plate appearances.

Since transferring to Los Angeles in 1958, the Dodgers have performed in 12 World Series, profitable six and shedding six. While founded in Brooklyn, the franchise performed in 9 World Series, profitable one and shedding 8.

Justin Verlander is 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA over 38 World Series innings.
Madison Bumgarner is 4-0 with a zero.25 ERA over 36 World Series innings.

Monte Pearson made one World Series get started for the Yankees in every of the 1936, 1937, 1938, and 1939 seasons, and went 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA over 35-and-two-thirds innings. New York bought the right-hander from Cleveland in December 1935 in change for Johnny Allen.

Johnny Allen went 15-1 for the Cleveland Indians in 1937. The right-hander’s simplest loss got here on the ultimate day of the season when he was once out-dueled via southpaw Jake Wade in a 1-0 Detroit Tigers win.

On lately’s date in 1985, Jack Clark hit a two-out, ninth-inning three-run homer to present the Cardinals a 7-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in NLCS Game 6. The blast despatched St. Louis to the World Series, the place they fell to the Kansas City Royals in seven video games.

The New York Mets captured their first-ever World Series name on lately’s date in 1969, beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-3. Ron Swoboda doubled in the deciding run in the 8th inning, whilst Jerry Koosman went the distance for the win.

Players born on lately’s date come with Garland Buckeye, a southpaw who performed in 5 big-league seasons — he went 13-8 with a three.65 ERA for the Cleveland Indians in 1925 — and in six professional-football seasons. The Heron Lake, Minnesota local was once the great-grandfather of Drew Pomeranz.

Also born on lately’s date was once Dave DeBusschere, a right-hander who pitched in 36 video games for the Chicago White Sox from 1962-1963. The Detroit local had his highest luck on the hardwood, profitable a couple of NBA titles with the New York Knicks and later being elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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