I do not want to place a number on how many wins Papa Joe needed in order to earn an extension. Obviously Stuart Sternberg and Andrew Friedman will judge a number of factors before making a decision. Each week I will take a look at how Maddon is performing in each of five categories. While this list is likely not complete, I do believe these are the most important factors in determining whether or not Joe Maddon can be a winning baseball manager.
- Wins: 16-14, 2 games behind Boston and tied for 2nd in AL East, 1 game ahead of the Yankees and 1 game behind Oakland in the Wild Card race.
- Fundamentals on the field: Offensively, the Rays are only tied for 8th in AL with 106 walks. While they are 4th in steals in the AL, they have been caught stealing a league leading 14 times. Not to mention the 437 times BJ Upton has been thrown out at third base. On the mound they are only 9th in Ks, and they are starting to walk batters, moving up to the 8th most walks in the AL. Defensively the Rays are 2nd in the AL in Defensive Efficiency Rating but catchers have thrown out only 5 of 25 base stealers.
- Consistently competitive: At one point the Rays won 10 of 13 and possesed first place all by themselves.
- Avoid prolonged slumps: Have lost at least 3 in a row twice this season, but in the last 16 games, they have only once have they lost back-to-back games.
- Control the clubhouse: No reports of problems.
- Summary: There are problems. The team seems to still make several mental mistakes every night, but I can’t ignore the record. If the season ended today, Papa Joe would be given an extension.