Don Wakamatsu was fired yesterday in his second season as Mariners manager. What does this have to do with the Rays? The Mariners are a franchise that have embraced the Tampa Bay Rays model of pitching, defense, speed and sabermetrics. And when Seattle hired Wakamatsu prior to the 2009 season, many thought they had picked up the next Joe Maddon.

If the Mariners are still looking for “the next Joe Maddon” then one would have to think Dave Martinez will be near the top of their wishlist. Martinez has spent the last three seasons as Maddon’s bench coach and is widely regarded as a future manager.

And if Martinez is hired by the Mariners (or another team) this off-season, we would not be surprised if Wakamatsu is a candidate to become Maddon’s next bench coach. Like Maddon, Wakamatsu embraces pitching, defense and position players that are both athletic and versatile. He also has five years experience as a bench coach (4 with Texas and 1 with Oakland).

All of this becomes even more likely if the Rays hire coaches the same way they acquire players. That is, would they look at Wakamatsu and see an undervalued commodity? If they do, look for Wakamatsu in a Rays uniform next season.



  1. Beth says:

    So....Seattle will fire one Joe Maddon disciple to replace him with another Joe Maddon disciple? It would seem to me that if the fired the "next Joe Maddon" they might be looking for something else entirely, don't you think?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I would look at it as more like firing a Maddon wannabe for an actual Maddon disciple. Martinez actually trained under Maddon whereas Wakamatsu merely resembled Maddon.

  2. Don says:

    Or how about Seattle getting the real thing...Hey..Maddman to seattle and Martinez stays here to be a real manager..or Martinez may have picked up too many Maddman's ways...
    maybe not a good idea!

    • mr. bob says:

      hey don you're on to something good----davey stays here to replace the match maker-----don't know if martinez has adopted the maddon way--
      watch him, sometimes he looks bewildered--

  3. Alex says:

    How about we keep Martinez and let the Mariners take Maddon.

  4. Boxauthor says:

    Either managers matter or they don't. If they matter, then Maddon is in many ways responsible for the team having the second best record in baseball. If managers don't matter, then why does it matter if Maddon stays or goes? I guess I just don't understand the complaining when we're sitting at 24 games over .500.

    • Don says:

      So... your obviously happy being over .500, sitting on 2nd place, in danger of not even making the playoffs?
      I'm sorry.... I'm not, and many more knowledgeable fans feel the same way!
      Rays have the talent to be in 1st...they need someone that can lead them to that spot...Maddman and his mistakes do not help that effort... but hurts us everyday..
      So... to answer your dilemma.... it does matter who the manager is!

      • d-money says:

        Don you're clearly a glass half empty guy.

        I prefer to think of it as the Ray's are in second place only 1.5 games out of the lead. As far as being in danger of not making the playoffs Every team in the league is in danger of not making the playoffs. It's called a pennant race. It's whats exciting about baseball.

        • Don says:

          There are many people in this world that are happy with being 2nd....they are called sheep....
          I always like to RACE on the lead..its much easier to win!

          • Boxauthor says:

            If you'll remember, Don, we did race to the lead. According to you, the manager DOES matter, so that would mean that he had a hand in that. And as far as being happy to be in second place, no, I'd rather be in the same position as the Yanks (spending another $150 mil or so for the team.) I'm guessing that if we had even a third of that money to spend, we would be in first. We don't, so if we take the wildcard and win the World Series, I'm happy. If we come back from 1.5 back and win the division and win the World Series, I'll be happier. But I won't be sad because we're only 1.5 back. Not disgruntled either.

      • pete says:

        Seriously? In Danger of not making the playoffs? The Rays have the 2nd best record in all of baseball. Am I missing something? For 10 years this team couldn't sniff .500 baseball. I would hardly call you a knowledgeable fan!!! if we play .500 ball from here til seasons end we still win 93 games and we are better then a .500 team.

        Being a fan and wanting your team to will every game is pretty standard. expecting your team to win every game is insane!

  5. Sarah says:

    I wasn't following these message boards when Piniella was the manager so can someone tell me: did Lou get this much grief when he was the manager? I can't figure out whether Maddon generates an unusual degree of rancor despite a pretty good record, or whether manager-bashing is simply what people do on blogs.

    • MJ says:

      Even if Lou was the best manager in history, those teams would've lost 90 games. People would probably rather gripe about the crap on the field than the decisions of the manager.

  6. Joe D. says:

    If at ain't broke don't fix it, I sometimes question Maddon but I rarely feel as if he costs the Rays gamea, (Friday being one of the games he cost the Rays), and I think that Maddon gets the most out of the individual players (for the most part).

  7. Joe D. says:

    Don, were you one of the guys from 97-00, when the Bucs had the best defense, that was screaming for Dungy's to be fired because they didn't have the Rams offense?

  8. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Don would not be a bad bench coach.

  9. Don says:

    I'm glad you guys are paying attention..I'm sure you are learning! As far as the Bucs... I don' have anything to do with losers, I could give a s--- if they every win a game..esp from a loser town like slum lord dog city...Tampa..
    Gator...your right ..I wouldn't be a good "bench coach"..I would want to run the whole show...that way I would win!


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