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Thread: Joe Maddon is smarter than everyone else

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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Joe Maddon is smarter than everyone else

    The Rays/O's game is amazing. 13th inning, the Rays flub a bunt, give up a Texas Leaguer, and the O's load the bases with no outs.

    So what does Maddon do? He pulls his left fielder, places him in front of second, and runs a five man infield.

    First batter grounds it right to the fifth infielder. Force at home. The Orioles win the game right there if Maddon deploys a standard defensive layout.

    Strikeout.

    Strikeout.

    And the Rays are still playing baseball. Such a simple move but one you wouldn't see from ~29 other managers in the sport. Sad.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    It was done against the Twins this year twice in one game. I don't remember the opponent but I do remember that the move didn't benefit the fielding team either time.

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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
    It was done against the Twins this year twice in one game. I don't remember the opponent but I do remember that the move didn't benefit the fielding team either time.
    Most of the time, it won't matter.

    But your odds of winning are higher if you do it and in the sport of baseball and a 162 game season, you go with the odds.

  4. #4
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Wow. The Orioles just won as the Rays left fielder (didn't catch who was out there, so many switches) had the ball bounce out of his glove on a diving catch.

    Easily the best game I've seen all season.

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    Yeah that was a good game. Let's not forget that Sam Fuld would have been out in LF if not for the aforementioned switch. The move helped in the short term but in the end it bit them in the ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by notoriousgod71 View Post
    Yeah that was a good game. Let's not forget that Sam Fuld would have been out in LF if not for the aforementioned switch. The move helped in the short term but in the end it bit them in the ass.

    Also how about Showalter giving the rookie a green light on 3-0?

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    Senior Member Triple-A gil4's Avatar
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    Also how about Showalter giving the rookie a green light on 3-0?[/QUOTE]

    Was it a green light or was it a "What the heck are you doing / way to go / that will still cost you $500" moment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    The Rays/O's game is amazing. 13th inning, the Rays flub a bunt, give up a Texas Leaguer, and the O's load the bases with no outs.

    So what does Maddon do? He pulls his left fielder, places him in front of second, and runs a five man infield.

    First batter grounds it right to the fifth infielder. Force at home. The Orioles win the game right there if Maddon deploys a standard defensive layout.
    Yeah great move, most managers wouldn't have the guts to pull this one off.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Strikeout.

    Strikeout.
    Maybe even a better move. You don't need guts to pull that off, just the right kind of pitcher. That's why I can't understand why Alex Burnett gets brought into the game with runners on base. I was pretty disappointed his name was never mentioned in trade rumors in July. His stock was at an all time high though we can see it won't be long before he crashes.
    Last edited by nicksaviking; 09-14-2012 at 10:38 AM.

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    Super Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    The first time I saw a team using the 5th Infielder late in a close game was the Twins. Gene Mauch used to do it quite a bit. I doubt Gene Mauch was the originator but it was my first recollection.

    I've used it a couple of times while Coaching myself. I think there are more Managers in Baseball that will use it. I don't think Joe is the only one. It's a desperation move without question. You have to be in the position where a fly ball will kill anyway.

    As for the title of the thread. I don't think Joe Maddon is smarter than everyone else because of this move.

    I think Joe Maddon is smarter than the majority of managers in the game because he uses his entire lineup very effectively. Joe insists on players who can play multi positions and he isn't afraid to slide them around and he isn't afraid to slide them around the batting order as well. He's an out of the box thinker in my opinion. The Zobrists and Keppingers of the world are much more valuable with Joe Maddon leading them.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Yeah, five infielders is nothing new.

    I like Joe Madden a lot as a manager, but take away that starting pitching and I bet he doesn't look quite so smart.

    Its a bit like moneyball going gaga over Billy Beane and never mentioning his starting staff.

    I agree that was a hell of a baseball game though. I listened on XM on my drive to work.
    Last edited by USAFChief; 09-14-2012 at 12:50 PM.

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    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone was claiming anything about the role of managers other than that, in this one moment, Maddon showed how a smart manager can make a difference.

    I think, given how putrid that Tampa offense is talent-wise, he's been doing a helluva job piecing together a contender.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I don't think anyone was claiming anything about the role of managers other than that, in this one moment, Maddon showed how a smart manager can make a difference.

    I think, given how putrid that Tampa offense is talent-wise, he's been doing a helluva job piecing together a contender.
    And he's done it for a number of years now with different thinking than "conventional" thinking. His bullpens are a great example. I heard an interview with Kyle Farnsworth during the offseason where he credited Joe with coming to him and stating something to the effect of, "The numbers say you are untouchable in these situations. I plan to use you exactly in those situations. If you trust me, we will win, and you'll make a lot of money." He reportedly said a similar thing to Joaquin Benoit. It's a remarkable thing how much he knows about his players. You would assume every manager does that, but he's really quite rare in that respect. Reading "The Extra 2%" was very eye opening to essentially the new market inefficiency and how to exploit it.

    Also (not related directly to Lev's post), Moneyball was never about Billy Beane. It was about exploiting market inefficiencies to make a low-budget team able to compete. Drafting college pitchers in that ballpark is very solid strategy as they generally will understand how to exploit location to keep the ball in the ballpark. Look at their team this year. Who had Dan Straily as the best pitcher in the minors before the season? Who had AJ Griffin as the pitcher who would tie an AL record for most wins in a row to start a career? Neither of those guys were in top 15 for Sickels preseason in the A's system.
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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I don't think anyone was claiming anything about the role of managers other than that, in this one moment, Maddon showed how a smart manager can make a difference.

    I think, given how putrid that Tampa offense is talent-wise, he's been doing a helluva job piecing together a contender.
    Yep. That's all I was saying. It took balls to make that call and it was a smart one. Few managers would have done it in that situation.

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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    It's a remarkable thing how much he knows about his players. You would assume every manager does that, but he's really quite rare in that respect. Reading "The Extra 2%" was very eye opening to essentially the new market inefficiency and how to exploit it.
    Is The Extra 2% any good? I'm looking for something new to read but don't want to drop $14 on a book that reads like a Wikipedia article. In part, Moneyball was so great because Lewis wove it into a solid story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I don't think anyone was claiming anything about the role of managers other than that, in this one moment, Maddon showed how a smart manager can make a difference.

    I think, given how putrid that Tampa offense is talent-wise, he's been doing a helluva job piecing together a contender.
    Yep. That's all I was saying. It took balls to make that call and it was a smart one. Few managers would have done it in that situation.
    Wait a minute! The working mantra in the media and the blogs is that managers make virtually no difference to the W-L numbers over 162 games. Which is it? (/Tongue de-inserted from cheek)

    FWIW, I enjoy watching and following both the Orioles and Rays as they defy the odds and possibly both knock out the Yankess. What a game the other day!

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    What I like about Maddon is his willingess to go against the grain and try the unconventional.

    Most of the decisions Gardy makes that people squawk about would be made by 95% of other managers in the same situation. Maddon is one of the few guys in that other 5%.

  17. #17
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

    Wait a minute! The working mantra in the media and the blogs is that managers make virtually no difference to the W-L numbers over 162 games. Which is it? (/Tongue de-inserted from cheek)

    FWIW, I enjoy watching and following both the Orioles and Rays as they defy the odds and possibly both knock out the Yankess. What a game the other day!
    Generally, I don't think they have much of an impact but in certain situations, smart managers can have a positive effect by putting their players in the best position to succeed. Maddon does that better than just about anyone else. How many games will that amount to over the course of a season? I don't know but it sure doesn't hurt.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    It's a remarkable thing how much he knows about his players. You would assume every manager does that, but he's really quite rare in that respect. Reading "The Extra 2%" was very eye opening to essentially the new market inefficiency and how to exploit it.
    Is The Extra 2% any good? I'm looking for something new to read but don't want to drop $14 on a book that reads like a Wikipedia article. In part, Moneyball was so great because Lewis wove it into a solid story.
    I will say this - if you go in looking for a pure baseball book, you'll be irritated. It's written as a business book, emphasizing utilization of unconventional methods to compete in an established industry. The story woven in is the unbelievably bad start to the franchise by their first owner and the changes made by their current management and ownership group. I like the way the book is structured, with discussions on each facet, including a very good biopic look at Joe Maddon's coaching/managing history that consumes a chapter.
    Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!

  19. #19
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. Sounds interesting enough that I'll give it a shot when I get some more free time. I just realized that I've completely overbooked myself for the next six weeks. I start a two week contract Monday, have another website I need to design and finish by November, am attending two conventions in October, and have to design a handbook for Twins Daily. Yikes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Hmmmm. Sounds interesting enough that I'll give it a shot when I get some more free time. I just realized that I've completely overbooked myself for the next six weeks. I start a two week contract Monday, have another website I need to design and finish by November, am attending two conventions in October, and have to design a handbook for Twins Daily. Yikes.
    I realize my critique didn't exactly sing its praises, but I really enjoyed the book. I just have heard many people looking for a "rah, rah Rays" book come away disappointed. There are plenty of criticisms of the organization along the way as well. I really liked how Keri used the Rays and referred it back to daily business works as my degree is in Marketing from the Carlson School. It felt like a baseball case study from one of my old management classes, so it was a good read to me. I'm working my way through "The Last Hero" about Hank Aaron right now. Very poorly written, though Hank is my favorite athlete of all time, so I'm still making it through slowly. Not sure the next one on my shelf that I'll get to as I got nearly 30 books the last two years for Christmas and birthday gifts from friends and family. I'm debating between "Baseball in the Garden of Eden" or "The Last Boy". to get my baseball book fix.
    Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!

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