Over at Business Insider I wrote a piece where I compared a teams statistical output to the number of games the team won. In theory, teams that won more games than expected could owe at least some of their success to the manager.

Joe Maddon and the Rays topped the list with 7.2 more wins than were expected based on the team’s talent. They were also second overall, behind only the Phillies.

Here is a look at how Maddon and the Rays have performed during Maddon’s tenure as manager…

As you can see, this is only the second time the Rays have actually outperformed the talent on the field. So was this Maddon’s best performance yet as manager of the Rays?

Well, this is isn’t a perfect system. But it is certainly better than the current system for judging managers, which is based on comparing how a team performed to how the “experts” thought the team would do.

 
 

14 Comments

  1. Charles says:

    Cue incredulous response from Don in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

    • Sarah says:

      It’s not just Don, who is wrong about everything. It’s virtually every fan who ever posts on this or any Rays board. From the grief Maddon has gotten, you’d think the Rays were stacked with future hall of famers who underperformed thanks to bad managing. You don’t have to be “in the tank” for him, or agree with his every move, to see that he does a more than reasonably good job with limited resources.

      • KillaTapes says:

        Let’s not group EVERY fan into that category. Just sayin’

        • Beth says:

          Not every fan, of course, but it seems to me that many of those who take the time to post are those who are most eager to vent, and Maddon is often the target of that venting. No doubt he does some things well and some things poorly, but Cork’s analysis at least provides some more objective measure of how he rates compared to other managers.

          • KillaTapes says:

            Yeah, I was just putting that out there. I know I’m too much of a Maddon apologist at times, but I’ve always felt that to win the ALE with the team he had and the platoons he used took a lot of good managing, and I don’t think he ever got enough credit for that.

            I also remember a really good point a while back that someone posted (Sarah maybe?)… It basically said, if a manager matters in the outcome of things, than Maddon is doing a great job (good record), and if managing doesn’t matter than worry about the managing?

            In summation, my last point will be this: I don’t feel like the team won despite Maddon, but that Maddon managed well despite the team.

  2. Billy says:

    It is like I said once before…Maddon will be criticized for his moves that did not work in the playoffs (Shoppach, Rocco, etc.). But without his unconventional moves during the regular season, the Rays would have never made it to the playoffs.

    So, it is the Buffalo Bills’ syndrome (four straight Super Bowl losses)…Would you rather lose in the playoffs or not make it to the playoffs.

    I would rather have the Rays make it to the playoffs. Then, anything can happen…

    Good year, Joe. And one of these years I am gonna make it to your Mom’s restaurant.

  3. Don says:

    Ok lets put it easier for you folks to understand….
    Do you think for one min. if the Rays were managed by Torre, Girarde, Showalter, Ozzie G., that nut from SF, even the drug addict from the Rangers…that they would NOT WIN MORE GAMES….I’ll bet you your lousey pay check they WOULD!
    Guarantee if they would have had a good manager this year with the talent they had they would have beat the Rangers & YANKEES and been in the WS….It cost the Rays owners millions ($)….so keep on…. with that goof ball Maddon!

  4. Gus says:

    I’m not all the way with Don because I do think over the course of the 162 game season Maddon’s philosophy is generally helpful and a net benefit. His gameday tactics, however, aren’t always so positive. That is what drives fans of all teams nuts — we watch the teams and we can see things coming that maybe even the manager doesn’t because he is too close to the situation. So Maddon’s moves rightly get a fair hearing here (and when he bats BJ in the lead-off spot, many of us have pain in the abodmen).

    This season, however, his failure to eschew the platoon and go with Jaso really cost him. Also, if he gets credit for maximizing less than perfect players (justifiably so), shouldn’t he get some of the blame for not maximizing consensus No. 1 draft pick BJ Upton? Given his draft position and early batting results, he was expected to be far better than what he has become (a younger Mike Cameron, more or less).

    And the playoff series, I think we can all agree, was poorly managed with the Shields start and the “surprise” RH line-up when those guys hadn’t had the at bats for that situation. At his Mom’s diner or over a glass of merlot this winter, I think even Joe would admit he messed up there.

    • Tom says:

      Shoppach Vs. Lefties in 2010 .261/.369/.455
      Shoppach Vs. Lefties Career .286/.381/.568

      I have no problem playing with Madon playing him agaist Lefties, I jut do not want to see him play against righties.

      • Gus says:

        The problem with a strict platoon at catcher is that managers never use the guy not catching when the pitching arm switches around because of the fear of injury. That means we get a lot more Shoppach hopeless at bats against righties than we ever need to see. (Cork looked at this in the case of BJ Upton leading off versus righty starters and I think 60% of the at bats are with a lefty in those games, maybe less).

        Moreover, Shoppach (whose 2008 numbers look more and more like a suspicious outlier season) is going in the wrong direction whereas Jaso is the future catcher. And by the end of the season, Jaso was the better receiver of the ball as well. I don’t mind sticking Jaso at the bottom of the order v. the lefty starter, but they should have gone with their better player (the baserunning alone might justify the usage).

        • Tom says:

          Good point about pitcher switches, Gus, Shoppach certainly is hopeless against righties.

          The thing with catchers though is even the best catchers normally do not start more than 135-140 games a season. As longs as your #1 catcher is a lefty he is still going to start around 115-120 games. You are only taking about 15-20 games from Jaso by platooning, I wonder if Maddon would consider starting Jaso at 1st or DH against lefties.

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