Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times recently wrote a piece entitled “Maddon shortens his leash” discussing how Joe Maddon would hold players more accountable in 2008.
Accountability is already manager Joe Maddon’s favorite word of the spring…And it’s going to become more prevalent, and more apparent, Maddon says, in how he manages the team in his third season.
“We’re at the point now where we think we’ve moved this along a bit, so you’re not going to give somebody as much rope. You still want to develop, and you still want to see people. But they may not get the same opportunities to fail as much as we’ve given people to fail in the past.”
That sounded nice. But it also sounded familiar. Where had we heard this before? Hmmm?
Oh yeah! Maddon said the same thing in Spring Training last year...
When Maddon admitted the other day that some of his players were unprofessional at times last year, it rekindled concerns that he might be too much of a players’ buddy to be a taskmaster.
“I probably made a mistake in regard to giving the younger players too much leeway early on. When you are dealing with young players, it is probably wiser to use a tighter rein with them. I want to treat them like men, but I want to make sure they’re ready for it.”
So what happens this year if the unprofessionalism continues? What happens if players continue ask questions that were covered in a meeting a few minutes earlier?
“That won’t happen this year,” Maddon said. “If it does, I’ll deal with it.”
Maddon in February, 2007: “it is probably wiser to use a tighter rein”
Maddon in February, 2008: “so you’re not going to give somebody as much rope”
So is Maddon saying he did not “tighten the reins” in 2007? Or did he not tighten them enough?
If he keeps this up, there won’t be much rope left in 2009.