Things could have gone completely different for Joe Maddon in his managerial career. Scott Miller of CBS Sports wrote about how Joe Maddon was going to be mentored by Sparky Anderson, who the Angels were about to hire, for two years beginning in 1997 before taking over the Angels’ managerial reigns. But the Angels’ instead chose to hire Terry Collins and the plan fell through. Very interesting to think how things would have changed for the Rays if Joe Maddon never became manager. The Rays would have had to become good eventually, but would they ever achieve the same type of sustained success under another manager? Here’s what Maddon had to say about how things worked out.
"“Everything always works out for a particular reason,” he said. “I couldn’t be more grateful, sincerely, for how things have worked out for me in my baseball career. I’ve always been a big believer in not having anything happen to you before it’s time. In other words, I had to earn this opportunity and I felt like I did by 2006."
The piece is a great read and please check it out. In other Maddon news, Maddon was named baseball’s most underrated manager in a Sports Illustrated poll of MLB players. We all know that Maddon is an outstanding manager, and it’s always nice to see him get recognition.
As it turns out, the mystery man who the Rays planned on promoting a few days ago is indeed Chris Archer, who will get the call today. The Rays scrapped a plan that would have sent Archer from Triple-A down to Double-A for the Montgomery Biscuits’ playoff run before coming up to the major leagues. We talked previously about what Archer has the ability to do for the Rays in September. I just overloaded you with link that should answer just about all your questions about Archer other than one: why are they calling up Archer now? The answer is that the Rays don’t need a 5th starter until September 15th and calling Archer up now would allow the Rays to use him a time or two in long or even short relief before that start. With his mid-90’s fastball and sharp slider, Archer could be another weapon for the Rays out of the bullpen. It will also give the Rays time to see what Jeff Niemann‘s status will be at that point. The Rays are very excited to see what Archer can do as he returns to the big leagues after a pair of starts earlier in the season, and Archer has the ability to play that David Price/Matt Moore role where he’s a late inning call-up that plays a huge role in September and then the postseason.
In his last start on Wednesday, Matt Moore threw the ball well but a few big hits, especially by Yankees catcherRussell Martin
, led to 4 Yankees runs. There is now some thought that it may not have been a coincidence. John Kruk on ESPN Baseball Tonight talked about how Moore was tipping his pitches.
It’s unfortunate that Moore was doing that, but it’s something that’s easily correctable and Jim Hickey will surely help Moore rectify that problem before his next start. Moore has had himself an outstanding rookie year after a tough start, and hopefully he can get right back on track on his next start.
And finally, the Rays’ Low Class-A affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods have been eliminated in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs. The Hot Rods’ official Twitter feed along with Hot Rods ace and Rays pitching prospect Parker Markel had some closing thoughts on the season.