We love Joe Maddon. We really do (Actually, not all of us love Papa Joe. DRG hates Maddon and and threatens to punch me in the face every time I write something that even remotely supports him). Even though we love Papa Joe, we admit that we can be hard on him from time to time and THIS is the number one reason…

At least 81 (wins), from what manager Joe Maddon envisions. “I think it’s a reasonable goal,” Maddon said.

Actually Joe. It is not a “reasonable goal”. It is not a reasonable goal when you have three stud starting pitchers, a solid 8th and 9th inning duo and at least five players in the everyday lineup with all-star potential.

You wanna know what a “reasonable goal” is? THE F#@%ING PLAYOFFS! That is a reasonable goal. Will it happen? Maybe not. But that should be your god damned “reasonable goal”.

81-81 should be the bare minimum with this collection of talent. I don’t give a rats-ass how young they are. This team has talent. The core of the team are VETERANS. They may not all be old, but Kazmir, Shields, Crawford, Pena, Iwamura, Floyd, Navi, Reyes, Wheeler and Percy have all been through the fire. It is time to start performing or get the hell out of the way for somebody that will.

And that goes for you too Joe. I know you are still learning as a manager and you are not the sort to EVER put pressure on your players in public, but if you can’t win 81 games with this group, I will gladly drive you back to Anaheim myself.

2006? Sure why not. 2007? Got a little stale, but we understood. 2008? No. Stop. Just stop. Stop low-balling the players and the fans. Stop being afraid to bruise their fragile little egos, and tell us that the goal for 2008 is the playoffs. We won’t hold it against you or them if you don’t make it. But we will hold it against them and especially you if you don’t win 81 games.

This is not what we needed heading into the weekend. If anybody needs us, we will be the drunkards trying out how to hack firejoemaddon.com, and making a game plan for starting FirePapaJoe.com.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • I think I had a couple of afternoon links for you, but I am too frustrated. It’s gotta be 5 ‘o clock somewhere…
 
 

6 Comments

  1. Robert Rittner says:

    Corky, that is a terrible thing to do. Maddon did not say what you quoted. He said this:

    “I think it’s a reasonable goal,” Maddon said. “But of course I don’t want us just to stop there.”

    That additional point changes the entire meaning of the statement. And of course, even the first part may simply be a response to a question that called for that.

    What are you looking for, some stupid rah rah answer like the little engine that could? As a matter of fact, most analysts think that 81 wins is pretty much the upper limit this year. Ok, so maybe Joe could have been more jazzed up about contending this year, but in a response in January to some question, his remark is totally insignificant and tells nothing about his approach to the new season or anything else. I can just see it now, Carl Crawford sitting home saying “oh damn, I have to get out of here because Joe is satisfied with 81 wins.” Can we all just grow up a little? It’s laughable to get worked up over such nonsense.

    Who cares what Maddon or anyone thinks is a reasonable goal? I am sure Maddon doesn’t give a damn what a reasonable goal is. It is a meaningless notion and not one that any manager will say anything sensible about. If he were in NY, he might say that only a world series ring is a reasonable goal. So what! Actually, that is a really dumb view also, but Girardi has to say it. The whole thing is just some stupid talk radio concern, trying to do some long distance psychoanalysis based on a few general public statements.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am with Robert Rittner, Cork I love your intensity but lets be realistic. If joe says the goal this year is to make the playoffs no casual fan takes him seriousily. The point he is making; is he is telling a region that hasnt seen more than 70 wins out of its local ball club, to be ready for a winning season, and that is is where it starts, not ends. Joe is taking the right approach for a team that has never seen a winning season, or successful season at that, he is starting with steps, the first step is getting to .500, he knows he needs to get to that mark or it is a failed season. And in my opinion shows that this team has come a long way, no a longer hopeless franchise that consdered anything other than a last place finsh a true success.
    Behind close doors I hope to god h Joe tells he they should expect nothing less than what the young Arizon diamnd backs did, worst to first. But in no wayshould he put unwanted pressure from the public eye on a yound team. by predicitng a playoff appearance. Most aggressive goals you speak of are talked about behind closed doors, to be for lockroom ears only, not to be up for public scrutiny.

  3. Anonymous says:

    and going from worst in the league to a playoff appearnce would be defined as an aggresive goal.

  4. The Professor says:

    and see that is my point exactly. setting the bar low only breeds satisfaction with surpassing the crap that has already happened with this team.

    Yes. I know he said he wanted more. If that is true then dont set your goals at “average”. If he was really thinking “more” then it just goes to show he is afraid to say it out loud and that is not the manager i want running my team.

    Do you think the Brewers went into the 2007 season thinking “Lets win 81 games?”

    How about the 1991 Twins that won the World Series after finishing 7th in their division the year before? A team that many have compared the Rays with.

    Or the 1991 Braves that lost to those Braves, that finished 6th in their division the year before and went from 65 wins to 94 in one year behind the pitching of 2 stud pitchers and 2 above-average pitchers (sound familiar?)

    It can be done. There is an immense amount of talent on this team. I am not saying that making the playoffs is probable. If i were a betting man, i sure wouldnt wager on it. But I would NOT place 81 wins as the “reasonable goal”. All that is going to do is breed complacency.

    What if the team goes 81-81 in 2008? As players and as an organization are they supposed to be happy with that result? Are they supposed to be satisfied? As fans are we supposed to act like that is our world series?

    What is wrong with aiming high? What is so bad about throwing it out there that your goal is to make the playoffs? Would a little media attention be a bad thing? Would some people think he was crazy? Sure, but so what? Put a little pressure on the kids. If the managers believes, then the players will start to believe. And then all of the sudden one hot stretch early in the year and everybody starts looking around and thinking maybe…just maybe.

    The biggest problem with 81 wins as a goal is that it suggests that 75 ‘just missed’. What if the Rays finished 75-87. Five wins better than their previous franchise record. Didnt reach their “goal” but it was close. Is that “moving in the right direction”? Absolutely not. 75 wins would be a failure for this team. And Maddon should be fired. On the other hand, set your goal at 90 and if the team finishes at 81 then you can say “all right, we didnt get there this year, but we are getting closer”

    They will never be great unless they expect greatness.

  5. The Master says:

    The ultimate goal for every team is a World Series title, but in reality a team can do so much against other teams. High goals isn’t bad, but if you can’t reach small goals first(for example a stable bullpen, a good middle order, pitch to the sixth inning,etc.) how are supposed to reach those high goals. Setting goals out of reach is unhealthy unless you set goals that lead up to that higher goal.

  6. Robert Rittner says:

    Aside from the misleading quotation you used, this entire discussion is an example of micro-analyzing, or in plainer terms, making a mountain out of a molehill. He said 81 wins was a reasonable goal but he wanted more. He could have said we are aiming to win the World Series this year. He could have said it’s a dumb question. He could have said any number of things, none of which matter one iota, except to feed the ever greedy analysis mill.

    Come on Corky. Find interesting things to discuss, not nonsense. Leave this for Christopher Russo.

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