RaysIndex: Your starting pitchers are second in the big leagues in innings pitched. Do you dismiss that because it’s still April or are you concerned because it’s so early.
Joe Maddon: Oh, I like it. I like it, yeah. I like it because their pitches per appearance is in pretty good shape. There is two ways of looking at it. I think Shieldsie had gone 115 or 116 [pitches] once and so has David [Price]. I you average out, David, he has been at 108 or 109 and I’m OK with that.
RaysIndex: A few non-technical questions about your background. When you were with the Angels, did [former Angels general manager and current Hall of Fame member] Whitey Herzog hire you or were you already there?
Maddon: I was already there when Whitey came on board. I got to know Whitey in the early 90s when Buck Rodgers was there and Billy Bavasi brought him over. I felt really fortunate because I have been around a lot of good Major League Baseball coaches and managers and he was the best I thought at being able to evaluate young talent. I think a lot of times major league personnel don’t do a good job of evaluation because they have been away from the minor league situation for a period of time. So I always relied on the minor league aspect of the scouts but I thought Whitey, Whitey came in and blessed Tim Salmon and he blessed Garrett Anderson and he blessed Damon Easily he blessed Kevin Flora and he said these guys can play. And before Whitey had said that, people were very ambivalent about their thoughts. But when Whitey said it, it had to be true.
RaysIndex: I know he is still a scout at heart.
Maddon: He is the best I have ever been around.
RaysIndex: What did you learn from him that maybe you use to this day?
Maddon: The biggest from Whitey? Part of it was what we were just talking about, trust your own judgment. Trust you own instinct. Don’t be afraid to say what you think. I used to be impressed with the way people would follow him around and listen to him and he is one of those guys… he and Gene Mauch primarily, the guys I had met over there that if they said it, it had to be absolutely true and accurate. There is no way he could tell me something that was wrong. He just felt that whatever came out of his mouth had to be factual and the right way to do things. Different cat, different animal. Very, very funny man. Very funny man. I enjoyed being around him.
RaysIndex: When he managed he was considered a maverick. The old timers would complain how he over managed. Fast forward to now, and he’s considered in many ways archaic. Now, here, if you turn on sports radio, you hear the same things that were lodged at Herzog said about you. Do you find that heartening in a way that one of the best in your business, a guy in the Hall of Fame, they are now saying those things about you?
Maddon: I find it amusing. People who say we are over managing just don’t understand what we are about and how we do things here and have to do things here. We can’t go out and buy nine or ten guys who will play on a consistent basis that are very high level. We cannot afford that player but we can afford players that compliment one another. We are built along those lines to platoon here or sometimes, righty against righty and lefty against lefty. That is how we are built. That is the part that I find amusing is that people still haven’t understood that part yet.
RaysIndex: Herzog was one of the first really big matchup guys.
Maddon: Yeah, it’s all about matchups. It’s about utilizing personnel and putting your guys in the best position to succeed. And so, if anyone wants to compare me to Whitey, God bless them. I’ll take it. To me, that man was one of the best I have ever been around.