Gary Shelton of the St. Pete Times took some of the fans criticisms of Joe Maddon to Maddon and JoeMa didn’t take it well (emphasis is ours)…

“Honestly? I think it’s kind of funny,” Maddon says of the criticism. “I really do think it’s humorous. Frankly, these people don’t know what they’re talking about. I would never go into a person’s place of business where I’ve never been and feel comfortable in telling them how to do their jobs. Most of the critics, even the average fans, have no idea what it’s like to work a major-league clubhouse. It’s not at all what they think it is.

Yes folks, you read that correctly, Joe Maddon believes he is above your criticisms. And he even played the “I don’t tell you how to do your job” card. Basically, JoeMa is saying that if you have never managed a big league club, then you should just shut the hell up.

So by Maddon’s criteria, no sportswriter in the country is allowed to analyze the job he does. And if we take it a step further, Maddon’s criteria should apply to any job. That means there are only four people in the world that have the right to question how the President of the U.S. does his job.

We are no chef, but if we order a dish and it comes out cold, we think we are in the right to tell the chef that he should have cooked the dish a little longer. That doesn’t mean we think we can do the job better. It just means we know a mistake when we see one.

We have been critical of Maddon from time-to-time. It is not about telling Maddon how to do his job and it is not about thinking we can do the job better. In fact, we think Maddon is a damn good manager. But he is not infallible. He has made mistakes… *cough*batting Kapler third *cough*…And as fans, we have the right to second-guess his decisions. And after we do, we still love him. Well, most of us do.



  1. Brixology says:

    The old, "I don't come to your job and knock the d!ck out of your mouth" comeback. It's a classic.

    Remember Kathy Griffin on New Year's?

  2. Rob says:

    I didn't see where Joe said critics should "shut up". If some feel that's implied, then I'd suggest they're being defensive. He said HE wouldn't be critical of how we do OUR jobs. Now was it wise for him to say? Probably not. But he's going to criticized no matter what because some people like to complain. Such is life.

  3. Sarah says:

    I do agree with Cork that Maddon sometimes comes off as someone who needs to show he's the smartest guy in the room.

    However I think his point here is not that we aren't ALLOWED to criticize him, but rather that he's not going to manage based on our criticisms. And that seems quite fair -- can you imagine a manager who made decisions based on the comments pages of fan blogs? The Shelton article had the tone of, "Hey, Joe, here's what the fans are saying, what are you going to do about it?" That's what he was responding to.

    Really, Cork, you are taking an offhand comment and trying to make Maddon look like some kind of hard headed jerk based on it.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Hey! I don't tell you how to comment, dont tell me how to blog! There was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that led to my decision to criticize Joe Maddon's criticism of criticism 😉

      Just kiddin, but to your point, that very well may have been Maddon's point but his response painted a very broad stroke. Managing from the seats is what fans have been doing since the beginning of time. Joe has got to realize this. And he needs to find a better way to ignore the criticisms, most of which are just reactionary rushes to judgment.

      As for Shelton, he does deserve some blame here. This was a terrible premise for a story. Basically he listened to a couple of hours of sports talk radio and read a few blog comments. That is hardly a scientific sampling of Rays fans.

      Most fans, even when critical, understand Maddon is a good manager and understand they couldn't do the job and know he shouldn't listen to them. For Shelton to make it sound like talk show callers represent the fanbase is just a writer trying to stir the pot. Unfortunately, Maddon fell for it, and gave Shelton a money-quote to rile us up.

      • Sarah says:

        Hey, I said that Maddon doesn't have to take the advice of blog comment posters. Blog owners, of course, should indeed be heeded (I'd also put one of those smiley things here if I knew how).

        Well, your comment gets me back to one of my pet peeves, which is the quality of work we find in columns like Shelton's. The man has, clearly, little insight into baseball so he either repeats truisms or "makes" news like this. Let's just say I think Maddon is a better manager than Shelton is a columnist (although using Joe's logic, unless I've actually written a column maybe I can't judge? Oh heck, I can judge).

  4. Myrna says:

    This is a great venue to vent my frustrations with Maddon. What makes me nuts is his jerking Longoria around. With the way this wonderful star of ours plays, please allow him to be comfortable hitting in the slot he wants. Leave him in that third hole for pete's sake! So proud of the way Longoria busts his ass on the field and around those bases. Yesterday was classic, running like a mad man to third base! Love to watch that guy! I would just like some answers; like why does he not give Blalock more playing time? I simply don't understand some of his decisions.

  5. John says:

    You mean, let me understand this 'cause, ya know, maybe it's me, I'm a little f&@%ed up maybe, but I'm funny how? I mean funny, like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to f*&#in' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

  6. joe says:

    Ultimately, Cork is correct here...Literally speaking, I don't tell anyone how to do their jobs, but when managing a major league club or being a head coach of an NFL team, or yes, being the President, there comes some responsibility and accountability...For elected officials, it comes at the polls but when you have a sports franchise, it comes in tuning in or tuning out or showing up with your wallet what you think..

    I think the context of Shelton's approach is questionable..I think Shelton tried to deflect criticism of Maddon, and instead came across as his buddy.

    For example, why was Kapler pinch hitting for Blalock last night?! To me that is strange, knowing the context of the game that the spot in the lineup could turn over once more. You could extrapolate that Kapler is a better hitter than Blalock? Of course not, but one could try to argue. Kapler (if he were to enter the game), should have been hitting for Rodriguez or Brignac (my opinion)!

  7. wolffdog7 says:

    My only real criticism of Joe Maddon right is ...why is a man hitting .175 batting cleanup in our lineup?

  8. Michael says:

    I have to agree with Maddon here. I think his reaction to criticism is 100% reasonable. What's he supposed to say when fans, talk show hosts, or sports writers criticize him? "You guys are right, I'm an idiot, I should kill myself"?!?!? Of course anyone has the 'right' to say or write whatever they want about how he does his job, that comes with the territory and he knows that, but that doesn't mean he's required to take it seriously. The only people whose opinion he really needs to worry about are his employers' opinions and I'm sure they think he's doing just fine.

    Question for all the Maddon haters: if Joe were fired tomorrow, who in the world do you think the Rays could/would hire that could do a better job?

  9. Cork Gaines says:

    But that us not what JoeMa is arguing here. He is not just dismissing those without data. He dismisses everybody. He is saying if you have never managed, then you are not qualified to make an argument.

    Take the Kapler-batting-third game. All the numbers and even Maddon's own tendencies said that was a questionable move at best. And yet that is one of the criticisms that is dismissed as humorous.

  10. ramedy says:

    I agree with him too, but I'm pretty sure you don't come out and say it. Short of him announcing in that interview that he was quitting, I'm pretty sure fans will continue to criticize him; now fans just have one more thing with which to continue to criticize him. As good natured and seemingly unflappable as he is, I was surprised to hear him say this; however I was already quite certain that he thought it, and I'm so okay with that.

  11. Cork Gaines says:

    I never said all criticisms are correct or that they are all even justified. Lots of the criticisms are rediculous. But at the same time he can't just dismiss ALL criticisms just because we haven't been a big league manager.

    By yours (and his) argument nobody had the right to question Jerry Manuel for warming up Rodriguez 10 times in that 20-inning game earlier this year, because *maybe* Manuel had some info that we didn't. And we can't criticize Lyndon Johnson's management of Vietnam or Bill Clinton's decision to get a BJ from an intern. Maybe they all had some info we didn't.

    All we can do is make an argument based on the evidence that is available. If nobody is ever allowed to make an argument without 100% of the information, then a LOT of people are going to be out of jobs. People like cops, lawyers, judges, scientists, doctors and many, many more.

    Evidence is submitted. An argument is made. Sometimes the argument is not very good. If it is not, somebody else will make a better argument.

    And all criticism of Joe Maddon is, is fans making an argument.

  12. Cork Gaines says:

    Ultimately, I do think this is the biggest problem. JoeMa is a great manager and is clearly an intelligent guy. But every once in a while he feels like he needs to tell everbody how great/smart he is. Or at least that is how these quotes sound.

  13. Justin says:

    Cork is right here, and Jason is wrong. Logically speaking Cork is right when he follows the implication of Maddon's argument. What Maddon is saying is that any analysis of his decisions is automatically invalid unless the person has managed before.

    This means that even his bosses cannot evaluate him.

    Jason may agree with Maddon 100 percent, but he has no logical basis for his agreement.

  14. Amanda says:

    You've hit the nail on the head, Cork. I know many intelligent people who think just because they have a high IQ or a college degree makes them infallible. "I'm smart, so that must mean I have the answer to everything." That is my biggest complaint about Maddon, is that he tries to pound square pegs into round holes on the basis of believing he is correct, end of story. Look at Longoria ... should our best all-around hitter have to tell Maddon that he should be hitting third (even though Longo did it in a very polite way)?

    Not that I want Joe to leave (at this moment), but I'd rather have someone who is more wise than intelligent. Or, at least someone who doesn't do things differently soley based being different.


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