If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and what they will do, and why. Unlike most team blogs, we do not very often tell you what the Tampa Bay Rays should do. However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans.
On the eighth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, EIGHT ejections for Joe Maddon…
In 2006, Joe Maddon’s first as a major league manager, he was ejected three times. In 2007, Papa Joe matched that total with three more ejections. Of those six ejections, three have come in 17 games against Maddon’s former team, the Los Angeles Angels, or once every 5.7 games. Against the rest of the league, Maddon has been ejected once every 107.3 games.
One of the most difficult things to do as a major league baseball player is to maintain a high level of intensity over the course of six months and 162 games. It is one thing for a manager to ask a player to care about every single game, but sometimes, the players need to see that every single game is also important to the manager. For young players especially, it can be a strong motivating tool if the manager can show that he is also able to maintain a high level of intensity and dedication over the course of an entire season.
We are not asking Joe Maddon and his rose-tinted glasses to all of the sudden turn into Lou Piniella or Bobby Cox. But he has also shown that is not part of the group of managers that are not comfortable arguing with umpires or do not feel it is an important aspect of the game. Maddon has clearly demonstrated that he increases his own intensity level against the Angels and is willing to go toe-to-toe with umpires in those series. We are only asking that he show us and his team the same level of intensity against the rest of the league in general and the AL East in particular.
Against teams not named the Los Angeles Angels, Joe Maddon has been ejected once every 107.3 games. Eight ejections in 2008 would be an ejection once every 20.3 games or once every three weeks. If it makes Papa Joe feel better, he can save a couple of those for the Angels.
If the Rays are serious about winning more games in 2008, not only do the players need to take their performance to the next level, but the manager does also. If he does not, somebody else will be given the task in 2009, and we are willing to bet the next skipper will get eight ejections each year.
On the eighth day of Raysmas, all Rays fans want is EIGHT ejections for Joe Maddon, and…
SEVEN relatively healthy months of Rocco Baldelli [Day 7]
SIX months with at least 14 wins [Day 6]
FIVE players with at least 25 home runs [Day 5]
FOUR winning records against AL East foes [Day 4]
THREE AL All-Stars [Day 3]
TWO new pitchers in the rotation by the all-star break [Day 2]
ONE Evan Longoria in the opening day lineup [Day 1]