Rays News

Tim Bogar Starts Joe Maddon Line of Managers

By Robbie Knopf

Joe Maddon has established himself as one of the best managers in baseball during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays. One thing he does not yet have, though, is a line of managers to come from his schooling. Maddon is still considered a “disciple” of Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and it could be years before we see Maddon himself described as the trendsetter of a new managerial style. He is universally praised throughout baseball, but for his own merits, not for any greater impact he has made in the game. The good news, though, is that “The Maddon Way” may finally have its first non-Maddon manager. We have heard plenty about Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, and he may get a managerial job soon, but for now, Joe Maddon’s influence can be seen Texas Rangers interim manager Tim Bogar.

If you have been following Ron Washington‘s sudden resignation and Tim Bogar subsequently taking over for him, you have probably heard the basics of Bogar’s resume. He managed for five years in the minor leagues, spent three years on the Boston Red Sox’ coaching staff, and then was the Rangers’ bench coach before they tabbed him to replace Washington. One thing that has been occasionally overlooked, though, was the first season he spent in the major leagues. In 2008, Joe Maddon brought Bogar onto his staff to be a quality assurance coach. Here is how Bogar described the position back in 2008.

"“It was a very unique situation where I got to deal with very different areas, the scouting side, the front office,” Bogar said. “But also dealing with the major league staff, going over the game of the previous night. It opened up my eyes to what went on at this level.”"

The 2008 season saw plenty of obscure heroes for the Tampa Bay Rays, from the start of the legend of Dan Johnson to a walk-off hit from Nathan Haynes. Maybe someone we should have dwelled more upon was Bogar. As the Rays took their defense from the worst in baseball in 2007 to the best in 2008, Bogar both physically instructed infielders and talked with Maddon about situations where the Rays as a team could make adjustments to improve their fielding. Clearly Bogar opened some eyes as the Red Sox hired him as their first base coach the following year. The past few years have only raised his profile, but a quote about him from Rangers general manager Jon Daniels even after all this time has to remind you of Maddon at least a little bit.

"“Tim is very well-regarded,” Daniels said. “He’s got the respect of his peers; of the players. Hard-working, organized, knowledgeable about the game, respected on the staff and he was the natural choice to manage the club down the stretch.”"

Another reason to compare Bogar to the man who gave him his first big league job: as noted by ESPN Dallas, Bogar made the interesting decision to move rookie catcher Tomas Telis all the way to the third spot in the Rangers’ order. Creating innovative lineups has always been a signature of Joe Maddon, and maybe Tim Bogar was influenced by that as well.

Tim Bogar has quite a bit to prove as he hopes to manage the Texas Rangers next season and beyond. How much he was influenced by Joe Maddon is another question that only time will answer. No matter what happens, though, we can say for the first time that a coach who learned under
Joe Maddon has ascended to become a manager. The Joe Maddon line of managers has begun, and this is only the start.