Five major league teams have managerial openings. With the Angels, Astros, Guardians, Mets, and Padres all looking for their next skipper, their rosters run the gamut from young teams to those looking to win now. It is a collection of teams that could use a manager that has run that gamut and knows how to win. And yet, former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has yet to get a call.
Maddon did not have the greatest final act to his managerial career. He had returned to the Angels with the idea that his experience would make them a contender. Instead, the floundered to a 130-148 record during his two plus years at the helm, including a 12 game losing streak that led to his being let go. As he will turn 70 years old before the start of the 2024 season, it is fair to wonder if the game passed him by.
Will former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon get another chance?
There is no questioning Maddon’s resume. He has a 1382-1216 record in parts of 19 seasons on the bench. Maddon won in Tampa Bay and in Chicago, helping turn the Rays around and led the Cubs to their first championship since 1908. He has a knack for getting the best out of his players, even if his methods are unconventional. What is important is that they work, with Maddon typically winning everywhere he has been.
But there may be reasons outside the game as to why Maddon has not gotten any traction. His memoir, where he discussed how front offices meddle with game decisions, did not do him any favours. Maddon feels that there may be a perception now that he is uncooperative, something he denies. As he was one of the leaders of the analytics revolution, such a claim seems ludicrous.
The game has changed. Rules have been put into place to limit shifts and pitchers have to face a minimum of three batters. Some of the innovations that Maddon helped make popular have been legislated out of the game. Maybe his genius was in a bygone era, one that will never return. And that is why Maddon has been unable to get any traction over the past two offseasons.
There are several managerial openings across the league. And yet, former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is an afterthought.